You’ve probably seen this research on the news or shared on social media. Psychology experts say putting up your Christmas trees and decorations earlier can make you feel happier since the holidays usually remind us of our less-stressful childhoods. (I had mine up November 10 last year thanks to some nudging by my stepdaughters.)
Maybe it’s the twinkly lights or the way the multi-colored, overly adorned tree fills up a corner of my living room that otherwise looks a little bare throughout the year—but I get it. There is something innately soothing about the sights and sounds of Christmas.
I guess that’s why I’ve been feeling a lot more chipper lately as I work on our annual Holiday Issue. It’s been fun to proof these pages—from the bright and cheery (think pink and orange) Christmas décor seen in our featured home to the five festive holiday destinations we profiled in our Travel section. I’m also excited to try out a few of the recipes in our Taste department for my next meal. Lisa Woodroof, a self-proclaimed “bourbonista,” uses bourbon in marinades, sauces, desserts, side dishes… you name it. And our annual “Look What I Found” Holiday Gift Guide does not disappoint. I’ve already picked up some gift ideas for a few people on my list.
With the holiday season also being a time to focus on the wants and needs of others, we are excited to unveil this year’s winners of our 5th Annual Giving Back Awards. I’m always so impressed and encouraged to hear what our Top 25 nonprofits are doing in the community… often on shoestring budgets with mostly volunteers.
Also in this issue, for the first time in Lynchburg Living, we are dedicating a special section to focus on mental health. In it, you’ll find us tackle topics such as PTSD, bullying and, the catch-all concern for most of us… STRESS.
Remember—while it won’t take away your financial concerns or make your life less chaotic, those experts say your Christmas tree can serve as a form of therapy. So go grab your fake one from the attic or be the first in line at the tree lot down the road. And while you’re at it, keep it up well into the New Year if you want to.
You aren’t crazy. You might actually be better off mentally than the rest of us!
Shelley Basinger, Managing Editor