Is it ever too early to decorate for Christmas?

The stockings hang on a mantle as families prepare for the holidays.
The stockings hang on a mantle as families prepare for the holidays.
Shelby Townsend
Christmas decorating should start after Thanksgiving
Christmas decorating should start after Thanksgiving

As the sun sets on the Halloween season, trick-or-treaters knock on the doors of their final houses and start heading home. When the clock strikes midnight, much controversy begins to arise. Do you put up your Christmas decorations or wait until Thanksgiving? Though many think Nov. 1  is the day holiday music should fill the halls, I believe otherwise. 

By putting Christmas decorations up the day after Halloween, you completely exclude the Thanksgiving holiday. This festivity began as a way to bring peace between the native americans and the colonists and give thanks for the pilgrims first successful harvest. The U.S Embassy and Consulates states expressing gratitude was customary for a bountiful harvest in both Native American and pilgrim cultures. In modern day, this holiday is meant to take a moment and be thankful for what we have as the pilgrims did back in the 1600s. By taking focus away from Thanksgiving  and placing it all on the Christmas festivities, you ignore the true focus of the holiday. 

After Thanksgiving is also a great time to put up your decorations because oftentimes, family is gathered in one home and can decorate together. This allows for a smooth transition between the two holidays and gives families a chance to bond as the holiday season begins. You can enjoy a delicious thanksgiving meal and then relax with your family as you watch a Christmas movie to start the season. 

In conclusion, Thanksgiving should not be shadowed by the Christmas season.

Studies have shown that putting up decorations early brings joy to some people.
Christmas decorating should begin as early as possible

As the Halloween season comes to a close, many are taking their final strolls through corn mazes and craving their last pumpkins. People of all ages gather their costumes as they prepare for their night of trick-or-treating and Halloween festivities. This inevitably brings the yearly debate of when the right time is to start Christmas decorating. Many are beginning to decorate earlier as the years go on because it prolongs the life of the holiday season and brings a neurological shift in our brains that causes a wave of nostalgia and dopamine.

Many researchers and health professionals vouch that putting up Christmas decorations early has a positive effect on our mental health. Having rituals is a very crucial part of mental health and ensures our brain a sense of control. Many view Christmas decorating as a ritual, which gives the mind a sense of control in order to have some normalcy in our lives. Vineeth John, professor of psychiatry at UTHealth, supports the claim that decorating early is a way to try and reclaim traditions and rituals that offer us a confluence of memories, identity, connection, and family.

In the study conducted by the British Medical Journal, researchers used fMRI data to detect Christmas spirit in the human brain. They used an fMRI rather than an MRI because an fMRI looks at the functions of the brain rather than the tissue and organs that an MRI examines. They gave each participant a Q&A asking if they celebrate Christmas and for how long they have celebrated it. Then performed an fMRI to detect activity in the different cortexes of the brain. The study found that when the participants were shown pictures associated with Christmas, it sparked bold activity in the brain’s frontal premotor cortex, primary motor cortex, and parietal lobule. The frontal premotor cortex is responsible for emotions. When shown the pictures, the brain produced joyful and pleasant emotions, resulting in a “Christmas Spirit Network” in the human brain. It can be now seen that putting up your decorations early prolongs the positive emotions in our brains that trigger nostalgia and happiness.

The goal of the holiday season is to bring people together and this debate should not negate that. At the end of the day, it is up to the individual when they decide to decorate their house with winter decorations. That being said, science does back up the idea that putting up your decor early prolongs the holiday season, boosts feelings of nostalgia and joy, and maintains the need for control in our lives.

Studies have shown that putting up decorations early brings joy to some people. (Shelby Townsend)
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