Like we need any excuse to get into the Christmas spirit...
As much as we all love Christmas, most of us are against those die-hard enthusiasts who get out the baubles and nativity sets the moment the trick-or-treaters have gone home.
Even worse are the super prepared ones who start on the Christmas shopping as soon as the sun goes back in, the kids go back to school and the leaves start falling.
But science shows that those who act like they’ve come straight out of Whoville could actually be happier than the rest of us.
A study by the University of Utah and Temple University, both in the US, reveals that people who put up Christmas decorations earlier are happier and are generally seen as more friendly and open by others.
Researchers showed participants photographs of strangers’ houses and asked them to accurately identify the more friendly residents.
The findings show that ‘Christmas decorations [were seen] as a cue that the residents were friendly and cohesive’ and that ‘residents can use their home’s exterior to communicate attachment and possibly to integrate themselves into a neighborhood’s social activities’.
Another reason why those who get in the spirit early are happier could be that the decorations make them nostalgic of childhood – a time when they had less stress and didn’t have to worry about ‘adulting’.
Plus, decorations make people think about happy times on Christmas Day when they’re surround by loved ones, so are a positive influence on one’s mood.
And to be honest, we don’t really need any more proof than The Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge to support this point. They were hardly the cheeriest around.
Still though, this definitely does not excuse those who leave the tinsel and fairy lights up all year round. That’s just not right.
But everyone else, take note – if your heart is two sizes too small, you might want to get in the festive mood and deck the halls. ‘Tis the season! Well, not quite yet.