ORLANDO, Fla. — How soon is too soon to decorate for Christmas?
The question was asked Monday morning in the WFTV newsroom after traffic anchor and reporter Racquel Asa posted a picture of her family's Christmas tree on her public Instagram account.
The picture shows a tree adorned with white lights, dozens of ornaments and a star at the top. At over 8 feet tall, the star grazes the ceiling of the home Asa shares with her husband and two children. With no presents to put at its base (it is only the beginning of November, after all) the fluffy white edge of the Christmas tree skirt is visible. The silhouettes of her two children, staring lovingly at their tree, are in the forefront of the photo.
What did Asa write as a caption?
"Don't judge me," with two holiday emojis and the hashtags '"hristmasinnovember," "early," and "christmastree.'"
Instagram users weighed in on the picture. Looking at the comments, it appears people are evenly split.
One of Asa's followers wrote, "way too early, but hey, you do it your way. And it's GORGEOUS."
WFTV anchor and reporter Karla Ray chimed in, writing, "Fully support this."
Which brings us back to the question.. how soon is too soon?
A recent article in Business Insider reported people who decorate for Christmas earlier are happier. Psychoanalyst Steve McKeown says the holiday decorations bring about feelings of nostalgia for childhood. Adults are faced with numerous responsibilities and disappointments, all of which can be overwhelming. Christmas, McKeown says, reminds people of the simple times of childhood, and the excitement of the holiday. Even if you have few good memories of the holiday season, he says, adults find solace in compensating for the sad times.
The joy you feel during Christmas also comes from the spirit of giving.
"Altruism increases in the month of December and as people start to give more and donate more, it makes them happy," psychotherapist Amy Morin told ABC News. "It makes people feel good, so they want to start celebrating as early as possible."
9 Family Connection's annual partnership with Toys for Tots kicks off Monday, November 25. WFTV will be collecting toys for Central Florida children in need. For information, click here.
As for being "those people" who hung their Christmas lights on their house right after Halloween? Scientists say you should not worry about it. One study found decorating early might make your neighbors like you more.
For Asa, it's about her children.
"The joy I see on their faces every day as they run down the stairs to see the Christmas tree is something I want to see for more than one month a year," she wrote on her Facebook page. "The tree is magical by itself."