Decorating your home for Christmas months before the holiday — even right after Halloween — can make you a happier person, according to this report.
Decking the halls early is a spirit-booster because it tends to trigger pleasant childhood memories, and makes folks feel more social, experts and studies show.
“When you’re putting up decorations, you’re thinking of happier times, times with family and friends and family traditions you engaged in,” psychotherapist Amy Morin told ABC News.
“Thinking of those happy memories stirs up happy feelings,” she said. A dose of holiday nostalgia also encourages giving and do-gooding, which is a mood enhancer, she said.
“Altruism increases in the month of December and as people start to give more and donate more, it makes them happy,” said Morin, the author of “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.”
“It makes people feel good so they want to start celebrating as early as possible,” she said.
Dragging out the most wonderful time of the year can also help people interact more with their neighbors, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology.
“Residents who decorate for Christmas but who have few friends on the block may be using the decorations and other cues as a way of communicating their accessibility to neighbors,” the study says.
People with festive homes are seen as “more friendly” and “open,” it also notes. Inflatable Santas, wreathes and Christmas lights are also an easy talking point.
“[Decorations] can lead to more positive conversations and they’re an easy way to strike up a conversation,” said Morin. “It helps build a sense of community and belonging.”
But for some people, the decorations don’t spark feelings of cheer, she warned. “For some people it’s bittersweet, if family members are no longer here,“But it’s still a way to connect.”
So go ahead, be early…and happy…and festive!