According To scientific research, as early as October is the best time! Scientists have found that seeing Christmas decorations causes dopamine to be released.They go on to say that this ‘happy rush’ is good for our general wellbeing and another study concludes that people who put up decorations earlier are more friendly and approachable!
Want to feel happy? Would you like to spend your days remembering good times from years past? Would you like to get a head start on the Christmas holidays? Put up your Christmas decorations now and don’t wait for December to arrive.
Now, you ask, why in the world should I do that? There are a couple of good reasons. The first is that we tend to have happy memories about Christmas, memories that go back to early childhood. Christmas decorations, especially those decorations that have been used for years, like Christmas stockings and baubles evoke good memories and the excitement that children have around Christmas. The other good reason is that when we put up the Christmas decorations our neighbours see us as more accessible and friendly. So, if you are new to the neighbourhood and want to make more friends, put up the Christmas decorations.
RELIVING HAPPY CHRISTMAS MEMORIES IS GOOD FOR YOU
When you’re having a bad day, week, month or year, it can be difficult to remember the good times. The world seems to be coloured grey and seems to have always been that way. Of course, there were good times in our life but there is a tendency to take our present mood and apply it to our memories. The nice part about childhood memories of Christmas is that they are usually quite strong and tend not to be overpowered by the funk we are currently in.
So, if you want to feel better, establish that link to happy memories. Get out the Christmas decorations. If you have decorations like Christmas baubles that were passed down through the family, take some time to think about whose Christmas tree they were on years ago and how they came to be yours. Share your memories with your spouse and especially with your children. Recalling happy memories will make you feel happier today and recounting those memories will give them more strength.
Make your early decorating for Christmas a group effort with family and friends. As you share the fun with others you will create new and enjoyable memories as well. What better way to ensure happiness for the Christmas holidays.
EXPERTS AGREE THAT CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS MAKE US HAPPY
Steve McKeown, a psychoanalyst, has been quoted to the effect that decorations for Christmas bring back good and strong childhood feelings and that the associations we have with these decorations make us feel happy. The, he says, is a great recipe for feeling better in a world that is too full of anxiety and stress. Think of your Christmas decorations like a strong connection or anchor to special and happy moments in childhood. When you put up those decorations that are so full of memories you re-connect to a happy past and bring that excitement forward into the present day.
Another expert psychotherapist, Amy Morin was quoted to the effect that a good way to feel better in the present day is to indulge in nostalgia for Christmas. This does not only make you feel better by recalling good memories. By linking to your past you also better understand where you came from and who you are your identity. This reconnection with the past, family, friends, and strong memories is a wonderful antidote to the confusion and stress of life today.
This works even when you have lost a loved one. The act of decorating for Christmas, the ornaments themselves, will bring back memories of that special person. When the focus is on Christmas there is often a stronger and better connection to those old memories than one might otherwise experience.
So, rather than putting it off until just before Christmas Day, how about decorating for Christmas in early November or even October? The worst you can do is to get your decorating out of the way before a busy holiday season. The best you can do is experience revitalizing re-connection with happy events of your childhood, wonderful memories of family, and a better outlook on life going into the holidays.
One more expert offers her thoughts on decorating early for Christmas. Deborah Serani, a psychologist said the connecting to good memories by decorating for Christmas actually creates positive chemical changes in the brain. A so-called “feel-good hormone” called dopamine is produced in happy situations like when we decorate for Christmas, recall happy events in the past and share those memories with others. Also, the bright lights and colours of Christmas decorations are another stimulus to increase dopamine levels. It is similar to what is called “chromotherapy” in which patients are exposed to bright colours and experience higher energy levels and good feelings.
Nostalgia for Christmas for many of us takes us back to a time of innocence, of joy. It reconnects us to a positive view of life.
CONNECTING WITH THE NEIGHBOURS THROUGH DECORATIONS
An interesting and related insight comes from The Journal of Environmental Psychology. Your neighbours see you as more accessible when you put Christmas decorations! It turns out that all of us perceive folks who decorate their homes for Christmas as both cohesive and friendly. So, decorating early for Christmas may help you make good new friends with whom you can share the joy of the season and your happy memories of the holiday. Perhaps if there is a present day “Ebenezer Scrooge” in your neighbourhood you will be able to bring him a little holiday cheer and help him avoid those unpleasant visits from the “ghosts of Christmas past.”
If you remember the Charles Dickens Christmas story, even Scrooge had some fond feelings when taken back to view what were otherwise sad Christmases in his early years.
WHAT IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS?
If you have not had the tradition of decorating for the Christmas season you probably do not have any old ornaments that have been handed down through the family. On the other hand, you are not burdened with some of the old, unattractive, and worn out ornaments that you have been holding on to for way too long.
This means that you get to start a new tradition and decorate with the bunting, ornaments, and tree of your choice. You get to buy a nice looking artificial tree that will not shed needles on your carpet or you can go out and cut your own tree and make that a family adventure and the start of your new tradition. Although we have been writing about how connecting to old memories creates happiness, so does creating new and exciting memories.
Sharing the traditions of Christmas with family and friends is more likely to bring joy to the holiday than spending a lot of money on presents. The same folks who wrote in The Journal of Environmental Psychology studied what made people happy at Christmas. Those who observed the holiday for its religious purpose and those who developed family traditions with decorations and more were the happiest.
And, if you derive joy from reliving the memories of Christmas in your childhood, why not start establishing those same traditions for your own children to enjoy and remember in years to come. And, it turns out that you do not need to wait for a special time to put up the tree and bunting or get out the ornaments. According to the experts, all of that decorating is good for you and the sooner you get going the better you will feel.
Break Out The Christmas Decorations – Sooner Rather Than Later!
Don’t let Christmas get you down with all of that shopping, hustle, and bustle. Get a head start on holiday cheer by breaking out the Christmas decorations, rounding up family and friends, and remembering the joys of Christmas past. You will probably enjoy the holidays a lot more if you start early and have a positive attitude from the very beginning. Let the bright lights cheer you up as those raise those levels of good chemicals in your brain!