By now, many homes across the nation are decked out with holiday decorations. String lights are strung around trees, houses, and even apartment windows. Almost all retail shops contain some form of holiday decorations, from simple Christmas trees to menorahs, to elaborate Christmas towns.
While for many people the end of year holiday festivities is the most wonderful time of the year, for others it brings back unpleasant memories of holidays past. Instead of sparking joy feelings of sadness, isolation, and anxiety follow. Holiday lights in particular have been shown to conjure up unhappy memories.
Multiple studies demonstrate that holiday lights and decorations help people recall memories of earlier holidays, especially during early childhood years. If your memories are pleasant, feelings of joy, excitement, and fun to follow. If your memories are unpleasant, and even traumatic, feelings of sadness, isolation, and hurt follow. You may not be over your particular unpleasant memory. Especially if around the holidays you experienced a death in the family, went through a particularly bad breakup, or had a difficult childhood, holiday lights and decorations can be a harbinger of holiday blues.