#ChristmasInMarch is trending as people do their best to spread cheer amid the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s a scientifically proven mood-booster.
The coronavirus headlines feel relentlessly awful, and it can be rare to find a story amid all those Covid-19 updates that genuinely makes you smile. Which is why, when this writer spotted that #ChristmasInMarch was trending, she became incredibly excited.
Why? Well, in a bid to bring a little light back into the world, of course.
“There is a lovely idea spreading around on social media to put your Christmas lights back out to spread cheer, and love, and hope in our community during this strange and dark time,” one fan of the trend explained via her own social media account. “Let your lights shine!”
Another added: “I’m putting up my Christmas lights as a reminder to everyone that there is always light in the darkness. And that, even though everything is so sad and scary right now, there is still plenty of good.”
Still one more, who fashioned her own fairy-lights into the shape of a heart, wrote: “There are dark times ahead, but I can still put love and light out into the world.
“Some folks have mentioned putting up Christmas lights to cheer up people in quarantine or in isolation… here’s my contribution.”
It’s a beautiful idea. And, as anyone who’s read my ode to the psychological power of Christmas lights will know already, these people are definitely onto something.
That’s right: festive decorations – particularly fairy-lights – genuinely do have the power to boost our moods.
How about that, eh?
“We like to think we’re so different from animals, but we are actually very responsive to our senses,” Dr Sally Augustin previously revealed.
“Developing on the savanna, where our current sensory systems developed, when we would see warm light, it was often a campfire at the end of the day, signalling cooking and positive experiences.”
As a result, the environmental and design psychologist argues that we’ve evolved so that “our eyes and neural networks developed in tandem in a way that creates positive associations with warmer light” – which, in turn, creates a better and more relaxed mood.
“When we experience warmer coloured lights, candlelight or light from warmer bulbs, it puts us in a more positive mood, which is great for getting along with others,” she adds.
With that in mind, perhaps it’s time to jump on the social media trend and make-believe it’s #ChristmasInMarch – or, at the very least, simply share our own #LightsForLife contributions.
If you’re interested, look this way for a little inspiration…
Sparkle and shine
Look for the helpers
Do your part
Christmas in March
Not ‘me’, but ‘us’
Keep it light
We can do this
Essentially, the world seems to feel like a better place when it’s all lit up. So ignore your mum’s superstition that fairy-lights after Christmas is bad luck (we’ve had all the bad luck we’re owed already, I reckon) and, if you fancy it, deck the boughs with armfuls and armfuls of fairy-lights.
And look for my light in the window, too. Because it will be there.
Main image: Tim Mossholder on Unsplash