You might be tempted to think that it doesn’t make any difference what you do or what your neighbor does differently for Christmas decorations. However, neighbors who express their feelings for the holiday can benefit everyone. Here’s how.
Decorated Areas Look More Inviting
A study showed that people respond more positively to houses with Christmas decorations because festive decorations appear inviting and hospitable. Participants in the study were shown a series of houses, some with holiday decorations and some without, and were asked their feelings on the owners based on the house’s appearance. Despite having never met, participants felt that the owners of the houses that went all out with Christmas cheer seem more “friendly and cohesive” than those without lights. To ensure that participants were not merely judging the quality of the house, they were shown homes that ranged in size and were meant to represent a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. This proved to make no real difference, as participants felt that decorations equated to hospitality and friendliness, regardless of class.
Provides Art and Entertainment
When multiple residents decide to try their hands at exterior decorations, it tends to produce a wider variety of expressions about the Christmas holiday, resulting in a dazzling show for other neighbors to see. From nativity scenes to Santa Clause and reindeer to creative light patterns, neighborhoods can show their artistic flair. The often-arduous tasks of assembling and displaying such decorations shows the residents’ dedication to that self-expression, which is one of the principles behind the value of art. All of this creates a free light show for neighbors who don’t mind taking a walk to view all the neat things their neighbors are up to.
Cultivates a Sense of Community
All the mirth, hospitality and creativity from neighbors decorating their homes tends to bring them together. People are more likely to comment positively on a neighbor’s Christmas lights, which can easily spark a conversation, possibly even creating a new friendship, or just reestablishing the existing one. In the best cases, this can bring numerous neighbors into the streets for whatever holiday celebration they might agree on. This all cultivates a communal bond that neighbors find practical, helpful, and most of all, affirming.
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