We all know that one individual who gets excited about Christmas while the rest of us are enjoying the heat of summer. We’re camping, swimming, boating, and catching rays, and they drive us crazy with their “__ Days until Christmas” countdown on Facebook. Maybe that person is you. Do you get into the Christmas spirit early? How about your neighbors? Does it annoy you?
Before you judge your neighbor’s premature Christmas spirit, consider what Psychoanalyst Steve McKeown had to say about the effect of embracing Christmas traditions early:
“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 the childhood. Decorations are simply an anchor or pathway to those old childhood magical emotions of excitement. So putting up those Christmas decorations early extend the excitement!”
Holiday Spirit can improve your mood due to nostalgic memories of Christmases past. Others strive to make happier memories because of a disappointing one.
How early is too early for the Christmas spirit?
Studies show that putting up decorations fosters a sense of community and makes you seem more approachable to your neighbors. However, folks who put lights up too early or leave them up too late are often a cause of annoyance. It may be best to wait at least until after Thanksgiving to light up the outside of your home.
Music can definitely get you into the Christmas Spirit, even if it’s a bit early.
“For someone who really enjoys Christmas music, it’s releasing endorphins in their brain and again, it’s because you love Christmas. When you hear those songs it gets you excited and you’re having good memories and your body is in a good place.” says certified music therapist Pam Lansbergen.
Hearing the same songs repeatedly can have a less desirable effect on individuals, especially retail employees who are subjected to the music for hours on end. It’s not just Christmas music. As anyone who has heard a new catchy song on the radio knows, radio overplay begins to make your favorite song become annoying.
So why can some people happily listen to Christmas carols all year long, while others are driven crazy by them? Victoria Williamson, Ph.D., psychology of music researcher at Goldsmiths, University of London indicates that it depends largely on the individual’s state of mind.
Those already feeling holiday stress over money or anxiety due to family relationships may find that the seasonal music serves as a reminder of their stress and amplifies it. In contrast, the music is a mood booster for people who are in a relaxed state.
The “Christmas Creep”
Department stores inundate us with Christmas earlier and earlier each year. Retail stores have their own underlying reasons for playing music. Studies show that music puts consumers in the buying mood. As for the employees, well, it gets old pretty fast. Ask anyone who’s worked in retail!
Tips for the Wannabe Year Round Christmas Enthusiast
Pick up Christmas décor and wrap while it’s on sale after the holidays.
Avoid shopping in November-December when stores are packed and items are picked over. Try a leisurely shop in the summer. Just remember where you put all those pretty packages when it comes time to put them under the tree. Take your family Christmas card photos early. Hang a strand of Garland in the background and don your best ugly Christmas sweaters. Play Christmas carols.
Leaving all the baking until December can stress you out. Start baking early! The things you bake around Christmas time can actually be frozen and stored for up to three months. So you can actually start your cookie baking in late summer and early fall. Nice!
Take a wreath-making class at a local Arts and Crafts shop or nursery. Get ready for all that incoming Christmas mail by creating a Christmas card display. Make and freeze a gingerbread house for December. The weather is changing and fewer daylight hours can be depressing. Get that warm fuzzy feeling with twinkle lights, dairy-free eggnog by the fire, and seasonal scented candles can really help bring some joy.
- “People Who Put Up Christmas Decorations Early Are Happier, Says Expert.” UNILAD. October 7, 2017.
- “Holiday Decorating To Attract Friends And Prevent Crime.” Psychology Today. Jacinta Francis Ph.D.. December 17, 2012.
- “Be a Good Neighbor with Proper Christmas Light Etiquette.” Apartment Therapy. Taryn Williford. December 4, 2019.
- “Some experts say Christmas music can be bad for your mental health.” Global News. Arti Patel. November 9, 2017.
- ” Do you hear what I hear? Your brain on Christmas music.” NBC News. Cari Nierenberg. November 23, 2012.
- “Christmas Music Can Actually Be Mentally Draining.” Huffington Post. Chloe Tejada. November 7, 2017.
- “9 Reasons Why It’s Never Too Early for Christmas Decorations.” BHG. Emily VanSchmus. May 20, 2021
- “How Soon Can You Start Baking Christmas Cookies? ” Food Channel. Chef. November 16, 2017.