If you dread the approach of Christmas, it might be because emotions typically run high. At this time, people don’t always make the choices they’d normally make at other times of year.
The traditional family meal is a prime moment to spot how people do things differently during the festive season when the pressure is on.
Home bias, an illusion of control, choice overload, and hindsight bias can all play a role for starters, as decisions must be made about everything from decorations to dessert.
In this year’s celebratory slideshow, you might recognise these “festive” feelings in someone among your family, your friends, or yourself.
Everyone’s Christmas is a little different, yet everyone always does Christmas exactly the right way. Typically, people prefer “their own”.
Illusion of control3
Yours may not resemble the Holy Family: things don’t go peacefully despite the best-laid plan (you might prefer a nativity scene).
So many festive items scream out for attention on the day that something dramatic on its own, like a cracker, may have little impact.
Many families go “multiple choice” on Christmas meals. But when there’s so much to choose from, we must take shortcuts to decide.
IKEA effect 6
When we make or cook something, even Christmas dinner, for ourselves it can taste so much better than when made by others.
Familiarity bias 7
And because we know the special recipes of our family Christmas so well, it’s only too easy to claim “mum’s is best”.
It’s easy to gorge on the day’s celebratory treats, from desserts to cheeses or chocolate, and worry about the diet later.
Feeling festive? A Christmas beverage is in order! But will you regret it tomorrow? You might say you knew better really.
Gift giving can be an uncomfortable experience if someone overspends on an item for one person, and others don't.
Post-Christmas sales are for a limited time only. But did we really need those bargain decorations or another cut-price jumper?