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Putting Up Christmas Decorations Outside Can Make You More 'Social'

So get talking to your neighbours about your inflatable Abominable Snowman.

Welcome to HuffPost Canada’s (almost) daily guide to helping you pick up an easy, everyday ritual that can make your life a bit better, in a small but significant way.

Canadians are stressed out, anxious, and are feeling disconnected from each other. Every Monday through Friday, we’ll share a tiny tip to help you feel good. We’ve got your back.

Today’s habit: Put up some Christmas decorations!

For whenever you’re feeling: In the Christmas spirit!

What it is: The countdown to Christmas is on, and if you haven’t put up any decorations yet, now’s the time. From Christmas wreaths to garlands, faux trees to poinsettias, there’s so much room for creativity when it comes to holiday décor.

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How it can help: Personally, nothing helps put me in the holiday spirit like a home filled with Christmas-y stuff— and Michael Bublé’s Christmas. My Christmas tree is up and decorated with meaningful ornaments that have been gifted to me over the years, and I’m currently making a fabric wreath to hang up on our front door.

Experts say that people who put up Christmas decorations early are happier than people who leave it until the last minute because it can remind them of happy childhood memories.

“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 childhood,” Steve McKeown, a psychoanalyst, told Unilad via Business Insider.

“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.”

Putting up decorations outside your home, like lights, a wreath, or a giant inflatable Abominable Snowman, can also make you a bit more social, which is great for counteracting the cold, dark, isolating days of winter.

A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology noted that people who decorate the outside of their home are seen as “more friendly” and “open.”

“[Decorations] can lead to more positive conversations and they’re an easy way to strike up a conversation,” Amy Morin, a psychotherapist, told ABC News. “It helps build a sense of community and belonging.”

How to get started: You don’t have to go overboard with decorations — unless you want to. I like to take my time putting up decorations so I can savour the moment; the holidays go by way too fast as it is and before you know it, January is here and you’re boxing them all up.

Pinterest is a great resource if you’re looking for inspiration. Through the site, we found ideas such as fireplace decorations, pom pom wreaths, festive centrepieces, front yard decorations, and pinecone ornaments.

Does the house come with the decorations?
Steve Dunwell via Getty Images
Does the house come with the decorations?

Where you can do it: In any room of the house, and anywhere on your outdoor property, so long as you have a long enough electrical cord!

How it makes us feel: The warmth of the Christmas lights, the smell of pine needles, and our sweet ornaments makes us feel all warm and gooey inside.

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And that’s your habit of the day.

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