Psychologists Confirm That Putting Up Christmas Decorations Early Makes People Happier

What happens as soon as Halloween is over? That’s right; Christmas decorations hit store shelves. We observed this ourselves the day after Halloween when we visited a local big box store. We saw employees setting up a whole new section of Christmas decor and gifts near the entrance of the store.

We remember this observation because we found ourselves drawn to the Christmas products. We looked at a few of them but found ourselves thinking, no, it’s too early, we can’t buy these yet. After all, they’d have to sit in a box or bag stored away in a closet until after Thanksgiving, because that’s the right thing to do. That’s what’s expected. We’re not supposed to decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving…right?

Maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. Hallmark Channel isn’t waiting until after Thanksgiving to release their plethora of new Christmas movies. We’ve been watching them since before Halloween, and it’s been awesome. Maybe they’re onto something.


According to psychologist Deborah Serani, decorating for Christmas early can make us happier. She says, “Christmas decorating will spike dopamine, a feel-good hormone.” 

But, why does it make us happy? It’s partly nostalgia. When we’re kids, Christmas can seem truly magical, and when we decorate for Christmas, we remember those happy moments and feel the Christmas magic all over again. 

According to psychologist Steve McKeown, “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!”

We’re all for extending the excitement of Christmas, but if you happen to be someone who doesn’t have magical Christmas memories, or perhaps you had some sort of tragedy happen during the holidays, Christmas decorations might bring up those sad feelings all over again. In this case, psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo suggests starting a new tradition like going on a vacation or volunteering. She says that starting the next holiday season you’ll associate the Christmas decorations with the new, positive memories.

No matter when you decorate for Christmas, don’t forget to decorate outside. According to research, when people see a house decorated for Christmas, they assume that the people who live there are friendly and social. Sounds like if you want your neighbors to like you, get out those Christmas lights!

When do you usually start decorating for Christmas? Are you going to decorate earlier than usual now that you know that decorating for Christmas earlier is likely to make you happier?