When people who did not celebrate Christmas or who did not identify as Christian filled out surveys about their moods while in the same room as a small Christmas tree, they reported less self-assurance and fewer positive feelings than if they hadn't been reminded of the holiday, according to a new study.
The university students didn't know the study was about Christmas, said study researcher Michael Schmitt, a social psychologist at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. Nonetheless, he said, the presence of the tree caused non-celebrators and non-Christians to feel subtly excluded.
December 18, 2010
"Simply having this 12-inch Christmas tree in the room with them made them feel less included in the university as a whole..."
"... which to me is a pretty powerful effect from one 12-inch Christmas tree in one psychology lab."