Why Does Christmas Time Bring So Much Happiness And Cheer

Why Does Christmas Time Bring So Much Happiness And Cheer

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Why Does Christmas Time Bring So Much Happiness And Cheer


Christmas Time is a happy time, a cheerful time, a time for family, giving and receiving of gifts, laughter and joy. Well that is certainly the picture that we’re led to believe. And whilst Christmas Time may not guarantee to bring happiness and cheer to all, it undoubtedly is associated with a certain collective festivity that is not repeated in quite the same way by any other time of the year.

So why is this? Well for one, Christmas Time is an official holiday season, and a holiday usually means a break from work, a chance to catch up with friends and loved ones, or an opportunity to go away, and this makes people happy. We have all experienced that feeling of "three days to go before I"m on holiday - hooray!"

Christmas Time is also a time for giving, and of course receiving, but interestingly research has shown that generally we obtain greater happiness or satisfaction from the giving of gifts, than we do from receiving them. A team and the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business school conducted an experiment on over 360 Americans the test their levels of happiness in relation to how they spent their money. The survey showed greater happiness being reported by those who spent money on others than the participants who did not.

Happiness and cheer brought about at Christmas Time might also be the result of another theory called social contagion. Social contagion refers to collective emotion that has the capacity to spread through large crowds. One example of social contagion is crowd reaction at a sporting event. Those in the crowd have the ability to hype each other up, causing mass reaction. Christmas Time is similar. Around Christmas Time, social interaction and situations are often reminders and affirmations of what time of year it is, spreading the word so to speak. People offer each other messages of goodwill in the name of Christmas Time. Shop assistants say a "Happy Christmas" to every customer they serve, decorations and lights are everywhere, giving a sense of the festive, special deals and offers are available.

And so it appears that the card companies are right. That Christmas Time really is a time of Happiness and Cheer. And if the power of social contagion is as strong as researchers believe, we should also make Christmas Time a time for as much socialization as we can, in order to make sure that some of that happiness rubs off on us.

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Why Does Christmas Time Bring So Much Happiness And Cheer

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