Christmas is right around the corner; bells are ringing, children are singing and tinsel and Christmas lights are glittering in the residence halls. The joys of this splendid holiday are meant to be celebrated early, and there is research indicating that those who decorate early for Christmas are happier people in the long run. Researchers say that a part of why people have such strong feelings about Christmas is the feeling of nostalgia that comes with the holiday. It reminds them of their childhood or people close to them with whom they used to spend the holiday. "In a world full of stress and anxiety, people like to associate to things that make them happy, and Christmas decorations evoke those strong feelings of childhood," psychoanalyst Steve McKeown told Unilad.
Dragging out the holidays also can help people interact more with their neighbors, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology. According to the 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.” Freshman class president Addy LaBanca states that she decorated early this year as a way of connecting with her suitemates and coping with that pre-final exam stress. Agreeing with her statement, I believe that decorating for the holidays brings our already small campus even closer together. Since decorating our door on Nov. 3, my roommate and I have noticed an increase in people walking by our door, all with an opinion one way or the other about our choice to decorate early. While we believe that Thanksgiving is a holiday that can’t be overlooked, you can't decorate for Thanksgiving to the same scale as you can Christmas, which is why I believe more people are decorating for Christmas earlier and earlier. The turnaround from Halloween to Christmas is becoming faster and faster every year. While you can catch me listening to Mariah Carey’s Christmas classic “All I Want For Christmas Is You” as early as Nov. 1, I understand that some people do not share the sentiment. When asked her opinion on the topic, freshman Bridget Gable stated, “We can’t throw away the spookiness that fast; it’s got to linger till Thanksgiving.” Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum of decorating early to preferring to wait till the last minute, I hope this holiday season is full of love, laughter and hot cocoa.
By Rachel Van Horne, Staff Writer