Study: Early Christmas lights brighten spirits

Don Ames
November 08, 2018 - 7:01 am
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Christmas lovers are ready to deck the halls! 

The ghosts and goblins are gone, and snowmen, Santa and his reindeer are popping up on area lawns. 

Every year, you'll hear people complain about the Christmas season coming too early. But, the sooner you start to trim your tree and put out those holiday lights...the happier you'll be.

That's according to a study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology. 

"Some people feel like, 'the minute Halloween goes down, I decorate for Christmas'. And, they love that. It's a tradition for them. It does make them happy," says Dr. Amy Dickson, Clinical Psychologist at LSU Health Sciences Center.

Apparently, those Christmas lights can brighten one's mood and jump start the Christmas joy.

"There is a degree of joy in choosing to put forth that effort, and joy that it gives you to see your house decorated, or the joy that it brings others," says Dickson.

She says it may induce warm and fuzzy feelings about childhood experiences.

The study also claims that people who decorate the outside of their homes are viewed as friendlier and more approachable than those who don't decorate.

"They're much more likely to be someone who wants to interact and does not want to isolate and not socialize."

And, Dickson says decorations, or the lack of them, can definitely send a message to others.
 
"We decorate a lot here in New Orleans. And, if you see a whole block of decorated homes and one house that's not decorated...people have automatic thoughts about that undecorated house." 

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