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Decorating early for Christmas may be good for your mental health, experts say

Macon Telegraph - 11/17/2022

Nov. 17—If you've already replaced pumpkins with reindeer, you're not alone and it may actually benefit you in several ways.

YouGov says 29% of Americans decorate their homes for Christmas before Thanksgiving.

And the same study found that 51% decorate before December begins.

That's a lot of decking the halls.

If you break it down by state, people in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Kentucky decorate the most and people in Nevada decorate the least. Could it be that Sin City is just plain naughty?

Georgia is looking a little like Scrooge at number 34 on that list, while Mississippi is cheering "ho, ho, ho," high at number 5.

According to Lombardo Homes, the average person who decorates for Christmas will spend around $70 on decorations and three hours to decorate their homes.

So, why all the fuss and are there any real benefits to decorating besides the look of it?

The answer is yes.

Mental health and decorating

Back up, grinches. No bad Christmas vibes allowed.

"People are getting excited [for Christmas] earlier and earlier," Etsy's trend expert, Dayna Isom Johnson, said in Martha Stewart's blog. "And we shouldn't hold back anyone's excitement for the holiday time because it's a moment to celebrate friends and family, and spend quality time together."

Decorating early does more than just make your home look nice; it reinforces the meaning of the holiday.

It can actually improve your mood, too.

"Christmas decorating will spike dopamine, a feel good hormone," said Psychologist Deborah Serani. It can "create that neurological shift that can produce happiness".

Putting up a tree, stringing lights and playing festive music can remind us of our childhood or fond memories.

Even something as simple as a Christmas candle can trigger positive thoughts.

Atlanta Psychologist Rebecca Leslie said, "If someone has a holiday smell that sparks positive emotions or memories, having that smell around has a potential to lift your mood."

Decorating for Christmas puts you in control because you get to choose where things go.

It is also a great distraction, especially from stressors such as the media, illness or work.

Go ahead, dust off those nutcrackers and play some Mariah Carey. You're in your own winter wonderland now.


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