It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
As I put the baubles on my tree on November 6, I made sure the festive atmosphere was just right.
The Gavin and Stacey Christmas special was put on the TV, I had a ready supply of Twiglets on the table, and boxes of sparkly decorations surrounded me.
As well as erecting my six foot tree, I adorned the front door with a wreath, my bannisters with tinsel, decorated the walls and dotted nutcrackers around the house.
Some people might think decking the halls on the first Sunday of November is extreme, but I think it’s the perfect time.
I’m not the only one, either. After telling a good friend I was planning to put my decorations up that weekend, she sent me a picture of Rochelle Humes’ Instagram story. It showed the TV star whipping out her own tree on November 3 and telling followers: ‘Call me what you want I’m SO happy.’
She also included a link to a study, which revealed that those who put their Christmas decorations up early are happier. If I had any doubt in my mind about bringing the Christmas cheer to my own house in November (which to be fair, I didn’t), Rochelle’s keenness only spurred me on to do it.
I’ve always been a huge fan of Christmas. My birthday is at the end of November and I love that this is the time that the festive build up begins. Some people may want the focus to be all about their birthday, but not me.
Christmas is a present in itself.
It’s a magical time of year for me anyway, but admittedly, this is the first year I’ve decorated this early – but for good reason.
Back in 2020 – the year we were in lockdown for Christmas – I started at the end of November, the only time I’d done it before December. It brought some much-needed festive cheer during a time of turmoil, and I think the seed was planted then.
In 2021, the decorations went up at the same time. But this year, with the cost-of-living crisis looming as winter approaches, my partner and I decided that the festivities needed to start even sooner. We all need more joy in our lives at the minute!
Invoking the spirit of the happiest season by putting up decorations seemed like the easiest way to go about achieving it.
In my house, the theme is traditional: red, gold and green. I’ve even got a little clip-on Robin attached to my tree, which I particularly love – especially as my name is Robyn!
After a particularly long, stressful day at work last week, it was dark by the time I closed my laptop and turning on the tree lights instantly lifted my mood, helping me feel relaxed. They made me feel so cosy and warm.
I think the fact that Christmas is a time to switch off from everyday stresses, wind down and spend a good few days chilling, eating and drinking is why I’ve come to love it so much – and decorating is all part of the fun.
Obviously, I am worried about the impact having my Christmas tree up so early will have on the electricity bill, given it’s covered in twinkly lights. However, this is offset by the fact that we don’t need the main light or lamps on – we’re also lighting lots of festive-scented candles, and our electricity is on a metre so we can keep an eye on the cost.
The festive outings I usually love – like Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, ice skating and splurging at Christmas markets – won’t be happening as we’ve put a strict budget in place.
In exchange, I think our festive home is a small price to pay for the happiness I feel walking downstairs to a winter wonderland every morning.
Luckily, we already had most of the decorations from bits we’ve accumulated over the past few years, so decorating came at minimal expense.
It’s all worth it – especially as the positive impact putting your Christmas decorations up can have on your mental health is backed up by professionals.
Christmas decorating can spike dopamine levels, a feel-good hormone – with experts claiming that people like to associate with things that make them happy, and for many, Christmas decorations evoke strong feelings of childhood and nostalgia.
My partner and I are also getting into the festive spirit by watching Christmas films, enjoying some mulled wine and I’ve started my Christmas shopping (albeit on a budget) – but I’m looking forward to wrapping them and getting them under the tree.
My friends and mum thought I was bonkers for putting up my decorations, though.
‘Won’t you be sick of the sight of them by Christmas?’ one friend asked. But the answer is absolutely not.
I always find taking them down in January a depressing task because my home always feels so bare without the Christmas decorations, so I’m just glad I’ll get to enjoy them for longer this year.
I’d advise everyone to climb into the loft, dust off the tinsel and bring some much-needed magic into their homes. You won’t regret it.
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