What sort of Holiday merrymaker are you? Have you thought about it? From my point of view, there are two obvious types, and we’ll use this not-at-all scientific approach of the Christmas Tree Decoration Test.

Are you the one with the carefully curated, color-coordinated ornaments, with crystal baubles twinkling, so as to mesmerize your young guests, and positioned just so, (you might have used a ruler) to create perfectly magical memories? Or were you more like my family, with a tree laden in construction paper craft ornaments, adorned in confused patterns of glitter glue and in the vague shape of a stocking or Santa hat. To be pulled out every year, determined to cause one more season of disfigurement to your tree right alongside the snowman with one eyeball gone missing, or any number of angels with broken halos, wings, or heads. Then, after being lovingly stored for 30 or so years, having the lot passed on to you to deface another generation of trees?

I say that pretty well sums up the two types of Holiday-er camps. But, even though everyone’s tree is appreciated in his or her own way, we aren’t so “live and let live” about one sensitive topic. Some of us have very strict rules about when you can officially begin the season. And some of us, each time they enter a store in August and see even a hint of tinsel, allow a groan to escape and a snide comment to the person closest to them, “It’s too early for Christmas!” with a simmering rage of a thousand indignant suns.

I’ll confess I have always been in that camp. There is a season for everything, I claimed. Finish with Halloween, I plead, then we can discuss Thanksgiving. But I am also that person searching for stocking stuffers at the drug store at 10pm on Christmas Eve, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

That is to say, I was a stickler for timing… until 2020. I’m pleased to announce that those exceedingly enthusiastic, ugly-Christmas-sweater-wearing, Clark Griswolds have one more member in their club this year. I finally get it now - I am so ready for Christmas and all the warm, fuzzy feelings that come with it. I just want an excuse to celebrate. I just want to feel merry.

"But wait a minute", you say, "Is there actual proof that I will actually be merry if I start the Holidays now?" I’m glad you asked. Here’s some professional advice to validate my position: Psychoanalyst, Steve McKeown, told Unilad, "Decorations are simply an anchor or pathway to those old childhood magical emotions of excitement. So putting up those Christmas decorations early extends the excitement!”

He backs this up with a line of reasoning that cannot be disputed: decorations help us to relive the magic of our childhood Christmases, or create that magic that we always wished for. It also reminds us of another important childhood memory - no responsibilities. Now I think that if I could harken back to that time I may not need anything else under the tree for me this year.

So, go ahead. You now have permission. It’s psychologically healthy to celebrate the holidays earlier this year. Put up a tree, decorate it with crystals or construction paper - or both! Don’t worry about the tree lasting until December 26 or beyond. Al’s Everlasting Christmas Trees will let you hold on to that Christmas spirit well into Valentine’s day.

As for the people who give the outside of their house a glow up in the Christmas period, Mr. McKeown said that they tend to be deemed more "friendly and cohesive" compared to their neighbors. So, while you’re at it, add some fun decorations outside to spread the cheer to neighbors (and boost your residential reputation a bit, too).