SIGN UP FOR FREE WEDNESDAY NEWSLETTER: Full name, please
I agree with the Terms and conditions

Your View

Your View is YourArlington's only blog. It is the site's place for opinion. To publish here, you must use your full name in most cases.
Font size: +
3 minutes reading time (583 words)

Enlivening your home, heart: #SlowDownAndDecorate

Maria Elder of Arlington, an undergraduate studying vertebrate physiology at The Pennsylvania State University at University Park, Pa., offers some holiday advice.

Holiday wreath

After Thanksgiving, stores and families rush blindly into the Christmas spirit -- maybe a little too fast. Most people worry about buying the perfect gifts, cooking the perfect dishes and curating the perfect house -- and miss enjoying the holiday itself. 

Don’t get me wrong. I love the holidays; my house in the Mt. Gilboa neighborhood was the first stop on the Halloween house tour in my town. However, I adamantly believe that every person should decorate for the holidays as a way to fully immerse themselves in the spirit and increase their happiness. 

Study cited

A 1989 study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology focusing on homeowners at Christmas reported that decorating not only makes you happier, but it also increases the happiness of those around you including neighbors and community members. 

The study suggests that decorating provides more benefits more than just aesthetic purposes and can help you get out of the slump. Many know about how seasonal depression hits when days get shorter and the nights longer. Well, here is your answer: decorating. It can make you happier.

Decorating can vastly improve your quality of life, so why don't I see more decorations around our neighborhoods? Well, some protest: “I don’t own a house, I don’t have the money, I don’t have enough time”. However, these complaints are built on the same illusion – the idea that to decorate you need to cover every inch of your huge white house with specifically curated decorations that all seamlessly flow together.

That’s not true!

Start small

You can decorate on a small scale. You could start the first year by putting up one snowflake on your window and adding a candle in the following year. Decorations are like collectibles; they accumulate throughout the years, and you build upon your repertoire each year. Start small and grow bigger. As the old saying goes, “Nothing happens overnight.” I know many friends who decorated their apartment or even their dorm room this year; it makes them overjoyed.

You can decorate affordably. Most people assume decorations are costly. However, many simple crafts can be completed with just the material in your house. One of my favorites is the Dollar Tree gnomes. The internet houses a surplus of affordable crafts that will increase your holiday. Almost all of the decorations where I live are handmade; every time I see them, they remind me of the fun I had making them.

You can decorate quickly. Contrary to many people’s beliefs, decorating does not take that much time; what eats up most of the time is going back and ensuring everything is placed just so. Again, the incorrect idea that decorations have to look perfect resurfaces. Resist it.

Part of the fun of decorating is that it looks different each year. Maybe last year you put your gnome on the shelf in the kitchen, but, this year, it’s by the couch. So what? Change is fun.

What matters in the end is that you are decorating for yourself. YOU want to increase your happiness. YOU want to get into the holiday spirit. YOU want to have fun. That is what matters. So long as YOU like your decorations, no one else’s opinion matters.

So, I implore you to join me on my quest to imperfectly perfectly decorate. #SlowDownAndDecorate

===============================

This opinion column was published Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023.

×
Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.

Officer Hogan aims to raise $6,000 to fight cancer
 

Comments

Guest - Judith Pfeffer (website) on Friday, 08 December 2023 04:02
I took your advice and am glad

Maria, after initially being skeptical, I essentially took a leap of faith and your advice. It took me only about half an hour to dig out my decorations and to put them around my living room, and I am so glad I did. It truly is bringing me much-needed holiday cheer.

Maria, after initially being skeptical, I essentially took a leap of faith and your advice. It took me only about half an hour to dig out my decorations and to put them around my living room, and I am so glad I did. It truly is bringing me much-needed holiday cheer.
Already Registered? Login Here
Thursday, 13 June 2024

Captcha Image

Your Business

Housing Authority