Already have your Christmas tree up? Odds are you're happier than most folks, according to a new study.
Researchers found that decorating early for the holidays has a number of mental health benefits. For starters, it lets neighbors know you're especially friendly, they learned. That can come in handy for folks who don't have many friends and are looking for more, Houston TV station KRIV reports.
“We also examine the possibility that residents who decorate for Christmas but who have few friends on the block may be using the decorations and other cues as a way of communicating their accessibility to neighbors," researchers found.
Various datasets dating back to the 1980s show that people who decorate early tend to be better neighbors.
"When Christmas decorations were present, raters actually attributed greater sociability to the nonsociable residents, citing a more open appearance as the basis for their judgments," researchers wrote. "The results support the idea that residents can use their home's exterior to communicate attachment and possibly to integrate themselves into a neighborhood's social activities."
The average American spend will spend $61 on Christmas decorations this year, according to Statista. That's $3 more than last year and $20 more than a decade ago.