Not Everyone Loves Christmas Trees

Christmas trees can cause depression and guilt!

Not Everyone Loves Christmas Trees

Christmas trees can cause depression and guilt!

-Jane Farrell

Christmas Trees

Seeing a Christmas tree in the mall, or a tiny Tannenbaum on a co-worker’s desk, isn’t always a wonderful sight for some people, a study has found.

In fact, just the sight of a decorated three can provoke feelings of depression in some groups, and feelings of guilt in another. The study, conducted by researchers at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, found that subjects who were not Christians felt depressed while filling out survey answers in a room decorated with a 12-inch tree. The non-Christian students, who are Buddhist and  Sikhs, felt depressed in the room, said psychologist Michael Schmitt, one of the researchers who conducted the study.

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According to the website, the students didn’t know about the actual purpose of the survey, but answered questionnaires in either a nondescript room or the one with the tree. The non-Christians in the Christmas-tree room consistently reported being more depressed than did Christians in the same room.

Schmitt told the website he got the idea for the study after hearing many arguments about what public displays are appropriate for the holiday season. He said he wanted to provide concrete data on a diverse group of people reacting to those displays, “rather than people just sort of speculating.”

The Christians in the Christmas-tree room did, however, have one negative reaction: They reported feeling more guilt. Schmitt said that may stem from feelings of holiday-related stress.

Schmitt, who celebrates Christmas himself, said he’s not advocating removing all signs of Christmas from public places. But, he told Medical News Today, “If people do care about making a whole range of different kinds of people in our increasingly diverse society feel included and respected, then we can make some small changes.”

He also said he’s used to getting negative reactions to the idea. (medicalnewstoday)

Jane Farrell is a senior editor at BettyConfidential.

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