Early Christmas decorating seems to divide the country as starkly as politics or cilantro. (Full disclosure: I prefer to see—and hang—Christmas decorations after Thanksgiving.) If you’re a fan of hanging lights and wreaths in October, you may have been feeling affirmed by media reports saying that early Christmas decorating makes people happier.
What science was this claim based on? No science at all, apparently. It seems to come from interviews with psychotherapists who offered their opinions about the possible effects of early decorating. There’s no research study that I’m aware of to support these claims, much less an experiment that randomly assigned people to early versus late Christmas decorating and then measured their happiness (this is the kind of study you’d need in order to conclude that one thing causes another).
Though there's no research to prove that early decorating increases happiness, common sense suggests that, for some people, it’s probably true. People generally do things that bring them enjoyment, so those who like to decorate early probably get a boost from seeing their decorations for as long as possible. On the other hand, people who are annoyed by early decorating probably wouldn’t become happier by forcing themselves to decorate early. In fact, they might actually feel worse.
The bottom line: Decking the halls early won’t make you happy unless it really does make you happy.