Putting up Christmas decorations early can make you a happier person, experts say

Putting up Christmas decorations early can make you a happier person, experts say
People who decorate for Christmas early are happier, experts say. (Source: WLBT)

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - If you’re hitting up local retail stores or one of the many seasonal special occasions already just after Halloween, you’ve probably heard Grinchy comments. But experts say there’s nothing wrong with you -- as a matter of fact, you’re making yourself happier during the holiday season.

At Mistletoe Marketplace today, you could cut the festivity like a fruitcake.

Neighbors Stephanie Farmer and Lesley Hughes were in Jackson from Vidalia, Louisiana. They’re both in new houses this holiday -- right next to each other.

“We’re really excited about our Christmas stuff and our Christmas trees,” Farmer said, to which Hughes added, “Especially after today.”

Nancy Carpenter says she decorates to the nines each year. Her family comes in from Washington DC and Canton, Ohio, and they have Christmas shortly after Thanksgiving, she said.

“We have five Christmas trees and we live in an antebellum home in Columbus, Mississippi and it just loves to be decorated,” she said.

Scientists say part of why people have such strong feelings about Christmas, whether they’re Cindy Lou Who or Ebenezer Scrooge, is because of the nostalgia. It reminds them of their childhood, or of loved ones who have passed away.

For some people, their own Christmas evolution is part of the joy of Christmas. Kandi Walker of Jackson said she even has fond memories of Christmas when she had moved out with her parents and she was doing it by herself.

“Growing up my parents always kind of waited until the last minute, so when I got on my own, I made sure a weekend or two after thanksgiving I’d go to the farmer’s market and get a little mini tree because I lived in a small apartment," she said. "So I’d get all these decorations and this tinsel stuff to hang on this fake fireplace I had.”

Making new traditions together can also help a family grow closer together over a holiday. Experts say finding ways to build a new history is a great way to Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas this year.

“We always get a new ornament each year and it instills a feeling of excitement and joy,” said Bethany Waylett of Madison. Each of her children gets a new one to add to their collection, which will add up through the years.

So even if you wait until Christmas Eve to put up your tree, remember those decorations can be the reason your mood shifts for the better.

“My grandmother name is ‘Sippi’ because my grandchildren live so far away, and my grandchildren go, ‘Oh Sippi, this is just wonderful, you’ve made us so happy,’” said Carpenter.

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