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Photo: OLI SCARFF (Getty Images) I am wholly and unwaveringly a December Christmas decorator. (Before kids, sometimes it was mid-month before I decked any halls.) No ornament leaves its box, no sprig of holly tickles the mantel, no tree makes its way through the front door until Thanksgiving has passed. I’m generally not down with seasonal rushing; I am low-key offended by both pumpkin spice anything on store shelves in August and Christmas trees adorning my local Costco while I’m doing back-to-school shopping. So it puzzles me greatly when people festoon their doorways with garlands and bust out the red and green plaid duvet cover that goes with their “Beary Christmas” sheet set while it’s still prime Halloween season, at least according to my front yard. But as it turns out, those who decorate early may know something we don’t: Not only do they appear more friendly, open, and sociable to neighbors , they may also experience mental health benefits. Anticipation, nostalgia, and distraction As Kelly Sopchak, PhD writes for Vital Record , people who decorate early can enjoy three major benefits: the anticipation of “looking forward to happier times,” the comfort of nostalgia, which can “ help increase feelings of social connectedness and support ,” and a distraction from current stressors. Psychoanalyst and mindset coach Steve McKeown furthered this idea when he told UNILAD , “[i]n a world full of stress and anxiety people like to associate to things that make them happy and Christmas decorations evoke those […]