We are approaching that time of year where temperatures are starting to drop and anxiety begins to rise as the semester comes to a close. However, one thing that chilly weather indicates in the tristate area is the return of the holiday season. Whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, most people have some type of emotional connection to this time of year. For some, the holidays bring to them a nostalgic aura, but for others, the holidays can be a time of sadness as they reminisce about memories of loved ones. But, hanging tinsel on a Christmas tree, stringing lights around the front door, or putting out the inflatable menorah decoration on the lawn, could easily improve your mood or add to your previous love for the season. 

Decorating is a bonding experience with friends and family 

Some of the fondest holiday memories with families and friends is the process of decorating. It creates a great sense of unity and joy that brings a feeling of excitement for the holidays to come. Decorating allows family and friends to work together and come to agreements to create a space that is festive and cheerful for everyone. In previous times where families and friends were forced to be apart, basking in those holiday spirits with your loved ones is a perfect way to feel that togetherness once again.

Students Daniel Ros and Ashley Rodgers setting up the Christmas Tree in the McShain Third Floor Lounge 

Photo by: Luke Ortolani 

Connections to childhood traditions

Holiday traditions tend to be the highlights of the season. Some put up a special family heirloom decoration each year, while others enjoy the trip to the tree farm to pick out that ultimate Christmas tree. Whatever the tradition is, we gain a sense of nostalgia from times of peace and comfort when we decorate. Even if you are struggling with the loss of a loved one, childhood traditions from the holidays could bring a lot of comforts. In addition to that, decorations could help us learn about other family traditions and cultures so we could better connect with the people surrounding us. 

Holiday decorations at Target

Photos by: Anna Dorneman

Creates a healthy distraction

For most people, the holidays are a celebratory time. In the past eighteen months, those magical emotions have paused. Embellishing your space with bright, colorful decorations or perfuming your space with smells of pine and cinnamon, could elevate your mood and create a distraction from any recent annoyances you may have. Being able to wake up every day and have a positive change in scenery, could easily increase happiness and decrease sadness. 

Could elevate your social life 

Having your space decorated for the holidays could grab people’s attention in a beneficial way. While others are driving around the neighborhood or walking around a floor in a residence hall, decorations are a way to stand out from the crowd. They bring joy and pleasure to those who view them. Thus, it could bring out connections between those who decorated and those whose moods enhanced after viewing them. Overall, decorating is a gateway to attract others in times of darkness and despair. 

The Holiday season is a time that brings out multiple emotions, depending on who you are. However, no matter if you are a child, college student, or grown adult, decorating has several advantages to others and yourself. Whether it be reminiscing on childhood memories, creating new connections, bonding with others, or distracting yourself from anxieties, enriching your dwelling space brings out all of those things. If you spark an interest in learning how to “keep the spirit alive” from Saint Joseph’s University staff, refer to this article