Sunday, December 6, 2020

Moving Christmas Forward


(a little early is just fine)

There is one thing that I noticed more of this year. Christmas decorations and such come out early every year, not just this year. The majority of people, including myself, simply ignore it. In my mind, and sometimes out-loud, I just say, "Let's get through Thanksgiving first." The way that this year of 2020 has been so full of 'negative stuff', it has seemed to be so different that many people, including myself, began earlier for holidays.

There actually have been studies that prove there are psychological benefits that the early decorating helps to fight the gloom and doom of 2020. I noticed more people putting outside decorations up earlier and many others followed suit. The theory is that it helps us in a way to reclaim traditions - at least to give us some form of control. Twinkling lights and bright colors make people feel happy and really does bring back happy memories and can offer distractions. Sort of like when planning a vacation helps one's mindset almost as much as the vacation. Christmas will not be the way it was in previous years. At least remaining safe and staying home, yet putting out decorations that bring back the nostalgia of how it was and will be once again once the pandemic is under control. 

Is it a false sense of happiness or real cheer? For me it is the real thing. Sensory elements of light, color and sound work for me, as they do with many people. It has the ability to boost our mental health and mood. Nostalgia plays a huge part of the positive vibes when we decorate. It is almost an instant boost with a positive view into the future. Thinking into the New Year gives me hope. Something to look forward to.

If the idea of putting up holiday decorations does not bring you joy then please don't despair. There are other ways that you can bring joy and hope into the New Year. Think about getting some new throw pillows or a new comforter for your bed, reorganizing kitchen counter tops. Add a little pizazz. 

On the other hand if it makes you feel good decorating then go for it. Send out more traditional cards that have a personal message written in it. Shipping off packages and presents to loved ones that we can't be with during the holidays. Plan on zoom times, video chats or FaceTimes for opening presents or setting the mood for the holidays. Most importantly is to stay safe so that we all have the future to look forward to.

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