Total Pageviews

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Putting your Christmas Decorations up early is good for you !


Ally Head writes: "In a year that’s felt a little glum, to say the least, the twinkling allure of Christmas is keeping many people’s spirits high right now. With traditions such as making Christmas pudding, wrapping gifts and decorating the Christmas tree just around the corner, the festive season promises to foster feelings of cheer, love, and goodwill. Which, let’s be honest, everyone could do with a little extra of this year!

With that in mind, are you considering putting your Christmas decorations up early this year? It feels as if many of us are keener than ever to kick off the festivities, with England in a nationwide lockdown until 2 December. Sure, it’s probably because we're more focused than ever on our homes without the distractions of normal life. But we have an inkling there might be some deeper-rooted psychological reasons that explain why you may be feeling the urge to get festive as soon as possible...

Has your other half been talking about getting a Christmas tree since Halloween, or have your children been waxing lyrical about tinsel, baubles, and fairy lights for weeks? Then this one’s for you...

We’ve spoken to three psychological experts to explore the potential mental health benefits of putting your Christmas decorations up early, particularly in light of a year irrevocably altered as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.


When do Christmas decorations traditionally go up?

First things first, what counts as "early" when it comes to decorating? In Victorian times, decorations were put up on Christmas Eve and left up until Twelfth Night, but nowadays, many people put up all their decorations, from trees to tinsel, a lot earlier. How early, you ask? Anytime from the end of November, according to sales stats from tree seller, Stagsden Christmas Trees.

Are there psychological benefits to putting your Christmas decorations up early?

It certainly sounds as if decorating early could have its upsides. “I think everything that you can do to make your home cosier and more celebratory this winter can only help your mental state," says Heather Garbutt, psychotherapist and director of 'The Counselling & Psychotherapy Centre'.

Clinical psychologist Dr Georgia Halls agrees, sharing that, for many, putting up Christmas decorations reminds us of good times, community and connection. “It’s an activity we usually share with others and has an element of familiarity, which can be very comforting."

Inviting festive cheer into your home early by putting Christmas decorations up could create a longer-lasting feeling of goodwill and subtly lift your mood by adding sparkle to an otherwise normal environment, Heather reckons. “Whichever Christmas decorations you like – whether it’s fairy lights, table decorations, trees or candles – can form a buffer against a world that is pretty tough at the moment,” she continues. “Doing your favourite Christmas things earlier will remind you of the simple joys and pleasures of being human.” Hear, hear!

Marsha Chinichian, the resident clinical psychotherapist at 'Mindshine', agrees. “Many studies found that the anticipation of something can be a powerful, positive, and important part of a happier life,” she explains. So, decorating earlier could be a really simple way to build some healthy holiday season anticipation.

“Decorating early really isn’t a bad idea at all," she says. "Studies show that decorating for the holidays improves mood and ignites positive memories." Not to mention that fact that the actual act of putting Christmas decorations up offers a boost of your happy hormone, dopamine. “Holiday decorating ignites the child in each of us, eliciting positive emotions,” she explains.

On top of this, for many of us, Christmas decorating is a yearly ritual that brings comfort and consolation from the mere act of doing it. Research from Harvard Business School supports this, showing that repeating familiar routines is essential for mental wellbeing.


So, does decorating for Christmas have a positive mental impact?

In short, yes. “The simple presence of Christmas decorations is an affirmation of joy and celebration,” explains Heather. Whether you celebrate Christmas for religious, cultural, or social reasons, decorations add more beauty to the darkest time of the year, she continues. Christmas lights can also be beneficial simply by helping to brighten up your inside space. “Any additional light we can add to our homes during the dark winter months is a real asset,” adds Heather.

Above all, if you feel like decorating early then there's no reason why you shouldn't. All three psychology experts encourage doing anything that brings you personal joy right now.

“In the context of an uncertain environment thanks to Covid-19, Christmas decorations may allow people to control their own space using a method which has proven time and time again to raise spirits for many people,” Georgia explains.

Marsha agrees, saying that decorating is crucial for bringing a little happiness to 2020, as people are spending more time than ever at home. “The pandemic is offering an almost forced slow down and check-in,” she explains. Rather than feel sad about what could have been, she suggests reframing your mindset to enjoy the small things – like decorating.

Without the prospect of festive events filling up your diary, you and your household will likely have a lot more free time to spend at home. Taking the time to decorate your space in a way you love could really lift your moods, she says. “Changing up the house and focusing on décor can shift the mood drastically and make it feel like a happier space.”

If you'd like to put your Christmas decorations up early but are still feeling a little hesitant about going against tradition, how about decorating in stages?


How to put your Christmas decorations up early

If don't want to make your home too festive before December but are raring to go, then decorating gradually is the way forward.

To find out how best to phase in your Christmas decorations this year, we asked Good Housekeeping's Homes & Gardens Director, Carolyn Bailey, for her step-by-step decorating timeline to follow...

1. The best way to kick off the festive season is by putting your advent calendar on display.
2. Next, unpack your scented Christmas or winter candles so you can start using these to fill your home with fabulous scents of the season.
3. Then, pop a wreath on the front door to give passers-by a festive welcome.
4. Next up, add a twinkle to your home by draping a few strings of fairy lights over surfaces – you can pop them into glass vases to create a lovely warm glow, too. If you are planning to make decorations or paperchains, this is also a good time to get on with this.
5. Once December arrives, think about installing your Christmas tree, especially if you are buying a fresh one – there will be more choice the earlier you shop – and pop on your fairy lights and decorations. Remember, more is more and the fuller the tree, the better it will look.
6. Then, fill bowls with baubles and pop them on coffee tables and side tables.
7. The week before Christmas, you can add in cut foliage from your garden – it’s amazing what you can find – and drape it over mantelpieces and along the bannister. Treat yourself to some eucalyptus branches, which make fabulous statement displays and smell divine. Look out for good quality mistletoe too, as this shouts 'Christmas'.
8. Last minute before the big day – stuff oranges with cloves and display them in bowls or along mantelpieces, buy some seasonal blooms for your dining table or console, then just wait for Santa!"
Ally's words above, with all relevant links can be seen at article here


Are you thinking of decorating your home earlier this year?
Enjoy the holiday season and please remember the low carb fruit cake ...

see fruit cake details here

A variety of articles and recipe ideas are within this blog. Please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter. 

All the best Jan

45 comments:

Tom said...

...we have seen Christmas trees up already!

Elephant's Child said...

Not ready to decorate yet. I do have the fruit for the first batch of cakes soaking though.

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Christmas - a period of hope. That is the best decoration at this time.

God bless.

Martha said...

This definitely makes a lot of sense. I'm one of those people who can't wait to get the decorations down and packed away. I would probably go insane if I decorated too early. I do like the idea of doing in stages, that would work :)

Karen @ Beatrice Euphemie said...

These are wonderful tips for riding out this challenging holiday season. Seeing all the pretty decorations will most certainly lift the spirits. Love the idea of oranges with cloves, fairy lights in jars and fresh greenery :) Thanks for the uplifting post! x K

Lee said...

A few years ago I gave away all my Christmas decorations. And since then I've not put up decorations. There is just me and my two furry rascals...having to put up decorations and then have to take them down again...I just lots interest in doing so.

That's just me....

I intend making a Christmas cake, though. However it will just be a boiled fruit cake. Gone, too, are the days I used to make my Christmas cakes around September.

Carla from The River said...

I started .. and it does feel good. I am very excited for Christmas this season.
Thank you for the ideas.
Carla

Christine said...

This is interesting and good to know

At Home In New Zealand said...

Festive decorations always lift my spirits, and I think putting them up early is a great idea - as is doing it in stages. We have a neighbour who loves fairy lights so much that she has had them up (strung along her garage) all year and they always make me smile.

Margaret D said...

Interesting to read.
Christmas tree goes up here mid December or there about if we are home for Christmas.

Conniecrafter said...

I will be waiting until after Thanksgiving like I always do, I want the chance to celebrate Thanksgiving with those decorations and then take all that down, clean real well and then put up my Christmas decorations all at once, doing a little at a time would drive me nuts. Plus I am not in a hurry to get my tree up just because our cat I have a feeling is going to get into it and so I don't want to get it up too early and have to fight with him too long.

aussie aNNie said...

Oh I agree but now we are moving so no tree up this year. x

Valerie-Jael said...

I only have 2 Christmas decorations, so won't have much to do....I don't like celebrating alone. Valerie

Fun60 said...

My daughter, who is going through a very tough time at the moment, put her tree and all the decorations up last weekend. It made the house smile again.

Jo said...

So many people seem to be putting their decorations up early this year. It still seems too early to me, December is soon enough for me but I do still like to see other people's.

Jules said...

Early is fine, but during November is a big no from me. I went out for a run on Monday evening and couldn't believe how many decorated houses I passed. I'm not quite ready for Christmas but I should perhaps remove the pumpkins from the mantel :) X

eileeninmd said...

Hello,

I have drove past a few houses that are already decorated for Christmas.
Seeing the Christmas lights and decorations is a cheery sight. Take care, have a happy day!

handmade by amalia said...

At this time of year, when it gets dark so early and it is so difficult to see family and friends, every bit of cheer is very welcome.
Amalia
xo

R's Rue said...

Beautiful.

mamasmercantile said...

Not ready to decorate quite yet, but I have made mincemeat and the puddings. The cake is going to be made next and I have done lots of extra shopping for the store cupboard in readiness.

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Great post, thank you
Early holiday decorations for sure is a healthy dose of cheer. I can see them up until spring! However, in my home, the fall foliage and pumpkins rule until the day after Thanksgiving. As a child, the tree didn't go up until a week before Christamas.

DVArtist said...

Good post for those who celebrate Christmas, I don't so no decorations for me. LOL

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I've always put my Christmas decorations up the day after Thanksgiving (something you don't celebrate). I started this tradition when I was an undergrad because it was the only time I had four days in a row to get my house ready for the holidays. I continue to do it to this day and it DOES feel festive once I get things out and in place. Nice article, Jan.

Shari Burke said...

Yes! This year especially it's important to find the joy!

Betty said...

I can't stand the clutter of Christmas decorations for long - it does my ocd in! but I do like the fairy lights and wouldn't mind if we had them early this year. Hubby is talking about a tree already - I will try and hold out until the 12th. I do like watching old Christmas films on tv and sucking up the happy atmosphere - especially the mushy American ones, Elf and Polar Express.

This N That said...

Very pretty..I have to wait until Thanksgiving is over altho this year,Thanksgiving is NOT!! Enjoy yours whatever you do..

Lorrie said...

I'm planning to do a few things earlier this year - like putting out and using my Christmas china everyday! We'll wait for the tree, as it is always a real one and I like it to last until January. I am anticipating Christmas with much joy this year, and I don't think I'm alone. We need all the hope and cheer we can get.

Angie said...

Jan - I immediately thought I should send this link to my hubby, who normally thinks that any decorating before US Thanksgiving is too early. But this year, I was shocked that he allowed our son and I to play some Christmas music in early November, when we all needed some cheering up! Our Christmas lights went up on the outside of the house last week; interior decorating is next week, and we are saving the tree for mid-December, when our daughter and her boyfriend arrive for the holidays! Enjoy the season!!!

nassah said...

wow beautiful, you prepare for christmas

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

This is such a great article..I hope you do not mind that I shared a link to it on my private Face book page...I always decorate "early" and had to do it because of working..Now, being retired, I am taking my time and thoroughly enjoying it!!! Thanks so much for sharing!!
Thanks too for stopping by and for your kind words! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!
Hugs,
Deb

Divers and Sundry said...

I have Thanksgiving decorations up, but the day after Thanksgiving, yes! Christmas decorations will go up.

happyone said...

That all sounds good but I still prefer to put up my Christmas decorations up in Dec.
It's pretty joyful around our house, even without decorations. : )

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Hi Jan. Great post and so in tune with all that is going on right now. Thoughts of Christmas, for me, have always been about joy and wonder and the sooner I can have all that the better. I am starting now, even though hubby is not wanting to overshadow Thanksgiving, but I just say Bah-Humbug and get on with it..Stay well..xxoJudy

Pam said...

I think after the year we all have had putting up the Christmas stuff would help to make things brighter and happier. I started last week....haha....I moved the chair from in front of the window to put the tree up but...the chair is in a different place and the tree is not up. My daughter put hers up over a week ago and I have had friends that also have done that. OH WAIT....I hung a red bow on the gate to the backyard...haha

Jenn Jilks said...

Mine were up a couple weeks ago! I love the lights in the dark. It's dark by 4:30!

Teresa said...

Me parece pronto para mí. Besos.

My name is Erika. said...

This is a great uplifting post. I did start putting up a few things, but I have seen lots of homes with decorations. Heck, its 2020, so if it makes you happy you might as well enjoy something. Glad the experts agree. Thanks for posting Jan.

Kay said...

Since nobody is coming over for the holidays, I was really thinking of skipping the holiday decorations. But now you have me thinking... hmmmm..

Lowcarb team member said...

Many thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts and comments, it's always great to receive, read and share them.

Thanks to Deb (Debbie-Dabble) for sharing a link to it on her private Face book page.

My good wishes to everyone.

All the best Jan

Sami said...

I usually put up my Christmas tree on the 1st of December and take it down on the 6th of January, but why not do it earlier?
Good idea Jan.
Take care over there.

Debbie said...

i usually decorate for christmas the day after thanksgiving and in to that weekend!! i'm not sure what i am going to do this year, i don't think anyone will be visiting so is there really any point. now i sound like scrooge, but really, it's a lot of work!!

sandy said...

Nice post! I will probably put up a little one after Thankgiving. We have a cat but I think she is behaved enough now to leave it alone.

Martha said...

We're planning to put up our tree by December 1st, a little earlier than the last couple of years. With COVID around, this will be something that will bring up much-needed joy.

Rose said...

I actually have been thinking of decorating a bit early...

It's me said...

🎄🌲❤️🎄🌲❤️🎄🌲❤️