Last week, Selfridges made headlines by opening its Christmas shop 145 days early, and becoming the first department store in the world to do so in the process.
To some, this may seem a tad keen – particularly as we’re in the midst of an ongoing UK heatwave – but according to research, we should actually all be taking notes from the store’s festive spirit.
Research shows that people who put up their Christmas decorations early are actually much happier than the rest of us, so we’d be well advised to silence our inner Grinches and succumb to the celebrations as soon as we can stand.
Speaking to UNILAD previously, Steve McKeown, Psychoanalyst, founder of MindFixers and owner of The McKeown Clinic said: ‘Although there could be a number of symptomatic reasons why someone would want to obsessively put up decorations early, most commonly for nostalgic reasons either to relive the magic or to compensate for past neglect.’
‘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 extends the excitement!’ – so the longer the halls are decked, the happier you’re likely to be.
A study from the Journal of Environmental Psychology reinforces this further, explaining that those who put their decorations up early are not only generally merrier, but can use the lights and wreaths to communicate this joy and friendliness to their neighbours.
‘[People saw] Christmas decorations as a cue that the residents were friendly and cohesive. Decoration interacted with sociability in a complex but interpretable way,’ the researchers wrote in their findings.
‘In the absence of Christmas decorations, raters accurately distinguished between the homes of sociable and nonsociable residents; in open ended comments, they attributed their impressions to the relatively more ‘open’ and ‘lived in’ look of the sociable residents’ homes.’
This meant that neighbours and those walking by automatically felt more drawn to the festively decorated homes, and were also more likely to interact with them as opposed to those without decorations up.
So there you have it, not only are you a happier person if you put your Christmas decorations up early, you’re also more likely to make friends with your neighbours. As for how early is too early, we’ll leave that up to you.