Correlation may not equal causation, as the saying goes, but it’s often worth noting anyway. One such example was the observation made by psychologist Steve McKeown, which showed that people who decorated their homes for Christmas earlier tend to be happier overall.
McKeown shared with UNILAD that (1):
“In a world full of stress and anxiety people like to associate to things that make them happy and Christmas decorations evoke those strong feelings of the childhood,”
As McKeown explains, Christmas decorations are a common cue and a psychological pathway back to the joy and excitement of childhood. This means that people who love Christmas and enjoy having holiday decorations around them for as long as possible are typically people who are happier and more carefree, or, at the very least, people who actively seek joy instead of shutting it off as many others tend to do.
According to him, there are two main reasons for putting your Christmas decorations up earlier and they are both related to nostalgia. In the first case, people are trying to relive the magic from their childhood and in the second – they are trying to compensate for past neglect. In both cases, it’s a positive way to bring extra joy into one’s life.
Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology also suggests that decorating your home earlier is also a common attempt to appear friendlier, especially when you’re new in the neighbourhood (2).
Whatever the reason behind it is, it seems clear that putting up your Christmas decoration tends to bring extra joy and happiness, as well as more positive social interactions.