By Olivia Haveron
The year 2020, to put it in the simplest way possible, has been a year where everything that could go wrong… has gone horribly wrong. From a global pandemic to the stressful, nail-biting election, any sort of positive moment brings joy to all. With the holiday season supposed to be starting later this month, it calls the question: Could the Christmas season come early this year?
Even to those who religiously preach that the holiday season doesn’t start until after Thanksgiving, which I even attest to normally, this year is anything but normal, so people are vouching for the holiday spirit to start a tad earlier this year.
Going as far back as the beginning of September, for the TikTok community, Christmas has started early. On July 13, Hannah Smith posted a video on TikTok with the caption: “here’s some serotonin I think we could ALL use rn.” The short video depicted cookies for Santa, the movie Elf, hot chocolate, all images that related to Christmas as “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” plays in the background.
Multiple other accounts have been made that create a focus on Christmas treats and spirit, oftentimes baking videos, which has thrived throughout the pandemic, consist of holiday shapes or peppermint goodies. These serotonin levels bring us back to the moment where we open presents on Christmas morning, the day that most children look forward to in their youth.
The social media giant isn’t the only place spreading the holiday spirit. According to Larry Gurino of House of Holidays in Ozone Park, Queens “This will be the biggest Christmas year ever on record.”
Many retail stores are producing a very early Christmas Spirit. On a recent shopping trip to Target, prior to Halloween, Christmas decorations flooded the store, and their baking section was no exception. I know from the colorful Christmas cookie cutters I bought and plan on using this weekend. Other individuals are going out of their way to set up their Christmas decorations early. People are simply in the mindset of celebrating, and a perfect way to celebrate is by decorating.
Even as I’m writing this article, I am listening to Christmas music.
And experts say that this serotonin increase is not just a baseless assessment; experts are claiming that decorating early can actually provide a mental health boost. Consultant psychologist and co-founder of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic Dr. Elena Touroni states: “This year’s been hard on all of us… with further disappointments and cancelled plans, is likely to have brought up all kinds of difficult thoughts and feelings. Planning enjoyable events and activities is a psychological strategy that can help build our capacity to cope with daily life.”
Putting up your tree or decorating the house can provide a temporary break from the reality of the current state of the world. This season brings feelings of joy and happiness, all emotions that have been lacking significantly. In a sense, celebrating Christmas and the holiday season acts as a sort of coping mechanism for many. And while this Holiday season might not feel that same as years past, it could quite possibly be the positivity we all need right now. So if you’re debating whether or not to celebrate early: go put up those decorations, bake some Christmas cookies, listen to your favorite holiday jam. 2020 is anything but normal so why should the Christmas season be normal as well.