I’ve never been one who needs much of a reason to get into full Christmas mode. Pretty much any time after mid-October and the start of turning leaves has me thinking about Christmas. And by November 1st, I am starting to dig out the decorations. OK, by the last week in October (although I don’t go full blown until November).
Until recently I had no idea this was supported by medical studies that showed people who decorate early are happier:
If you are a person who breaks out the Christmas tree and garland as soon as the last trick-or-treater comes to your door (ahem), good news. Studies show us early decorators may make us happier people all around.
I do believe that is correct. Christmas season does seem to have the effect of making people happy (for the most part). Remember what it did for the Winter Warlock or The Abominable Snowman!
“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,” psychoanalyst Steve McKeown told Unilad. “Decorations are simply an anchor or pathway to those old childhood magical emotions of excitement. So putting up those Christmas decorations early extends the excitement!”
When I was growing up we would start putting decorations up a little at a time, reaching the climax a couple of weeks before the big day. I have read how the old tradition was to trim the tree the night before Christmas. I never could have survived that long! Of course back then they couldn’t pop over to Walmart to get an artificial tree. And considering they often used real candles on the tree it may have been prudent to wait.
There are two types of people in this world — the ones who can’t wait to drape every square inch of our homes in holiday cheer and the stick-in-the-muds. If you aren’t playing Christmas music come July, we can’t be friends. And it turns out doing so can make those of us who decorate early feel happier and more connected to our happy childhood memories. Whatever the reason, it seems we can’t go wrong by dusting off our snow globes and stockings whenever it feels right for us. In today’s world, we could all use a some holiday cheer early and often.
If we had this cheer more often the world would be a much better place. The article sums it all up succinctly with this:
If decorating early for the holidays is wrong, we don’t want to be right.
Better Homes & Gardens agrees as well:
Did you know that Christmas decorations may make you happier? Learn why you should put up your holiday decor now. Start hanging Christmas lights today! Our philosophies on holiday decorating are “the more the merrier” and “the sooner the better.” If you have doubts about timing, you might reconsider when to decorate for Christmas after you hear this. Plus we’ve got plenty of Christmas decoration ideas to get you started—all of which make you happy, help you connect with the neighbors, and bring some (literal) light to winter gloom.
They proceed to list several reasons to support their view. The one that caught my attention was Christmas Desserts:
Did someone say cookies?
Yes!! That would be ME!
OK, so maybe they aren’t technically decor, but we think early holiday baking is a good reason to dust off that Santa-shape cookie jar. Besides, colorful treats are decorations in their own right. Desserts are one of the best parts of the holiday season, and there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy them any day of the year.
Another good reason? It’s getting colder outside:
You’ve already broken out the warm scarves and sweaters, so go ahead and pull out the plaid blankets, evergreen-scented candles, and string lights, too. We also think that the coziness of twinkling lights and hot chocolate next to a crackling fire lined with stockings is the perfect way to beat the winter blues.
However, I can do without chestnuts roasting on an open fire. That is one aroma I experienced once and it was enough to last a lifetime.
Need another reason? How about to enjoy the decorations longer?
Let’s face it—putting up Christmas decorations is fun, but it can also be a lot of work. Lugging all of the ornaments and boxes out of the basement or attic is kind of a bummer if you know you’ll have to do it all over again to put them away a week later. Why not leave more time to sit back and appreciate your efforts? You could even mix it up with a new color scheme for your Christmas home decor this year.
See how logical and practical all this is??? My theme this year is Christmas trees. So far I have 8 trees up in my room (granted none are that big and 5 are little miniatures you can get at the dollar store). But I have 1-2 more bigger ones left to go. Oh, wait. Make that 9. I have a glass tree that is filled with water and shoots glitter up through it when turned on. It looks great in the dark! I also have a neat little Musical Nativity Scene I bought recently.
Some will reason that we should celebrate Thanksgiving first and then Christmas. But to me they have always been combined. I am very thankful for what God has provided me. But the most important thing I am thankful for is his Son who took on human flesh to save us. So the two go together for me. And if we’re supposed to celebrate each holiday individually, why do folks spend Thanksgiving day scanning the newspaper for sales and then dashing to the stores at all hours of the night after Thanksgiving so they can get in on the black Friday sales? Funny how that Thanksgiving spirit suddenly disappears 12 hours later (or less).
What about Christmas music?
We know people have mixed feelings about this one, but hear us out. There’s no better time to play Christmas music than while decorating, and many artists release new holiday songs around this time. Besides, you’ve been listening to the same Top 40 hits all year. This is Christmas music’s time to shine. Crank up classics like “Jingle Bells” and “Deck the Halls” and sing along!
I feel my best and happiest around Christmastime so why wouldn’t I want to listen to the music that reminds me of the time when I feel most humble, appreciative and content with my life?
Christmas Gospel music also bring the message of salvation to Christmas. That always makes me feel happy. One of the best I’ve heard in the last few years is “Noel” by Chris Tomlin and Lauren Daigle.
Finally, once the decorations are up, when should they come down? Here is a perspective from our friends to the north:
Admittedly, I start early—I’ve been known to tear it all down on Boxing Day. Typically though, I’m Christmas free by New Year’s Day. My parents, however, wait until the day after Old Christmas. The bottom line though is you shouldn’t be looking at it by Easter.
Well of course not. I always have mine down by late February/early March at the latest. There’s no sense in pushing it!