Decking the halls early is a spirit-booster because it tends to trigger pleasant childhood memories, and makes folks feel more social, studies show.
When youre putting up decorations, youre thinking of happier times, times with family and friends and family traditions you engaged in, psychotherapist Amy Morin said. "Thinking of those happy memories stirs up happy feelings." A dose of holiday nostalgia also encourages giving and do-gooding, which is a mood enhancer. Altruism increases in the month of December and as people start to give more and donate more, it makes them happy.
Dragging out the most wonderful time of the year can also help people interact more with their neighbors, according to a recent study. 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 friendlier and open, it also notes.