It’s Beginning to Look Kinda Like Christmas

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And it’s Halloween!Some folks of a certain age will remember a time when it was not socially acceptable to put out the Christmas decorations until after the cornucopia of Thanksgiving was boxed and in the attic.

Those days have passed, and if you walk into most stores on Halloween now you’ll be greeted by Christmas trees and wrapping paper, with singing fish not far behind.The norms have changed. The nostalgia aroused by holiday decorations and the comfort of childhood they bring, according to the

Journal of Environmental Psychology, encourages many to jump into the season early. "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 the childhood," says Mindfinders founder and psychoanalyst Steve McKeown.

For Matt Elsinore of Bright Lights Houston, the joy of Christmas decorations is a year-round experience, planning and sales occupying the first half of the year, placement and hanging the back half.“Starting in August, we started with NASA, the Space Center, and the Zoo,” he says of the hanging part. They’ll start twinkling and entertaining in a few days. “Typically they’re not turned on until approximately early November. Some people like them early and some people like them after Thanksgiving.”

Walmart raised the ire of some by posting online holiday sales last Friday, but the outrage each year gets more and more muted as the decorations appear earlier and earlier.

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