What Your Xmas Lights Say About You

They say you're a pretty princess
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2008 10:16 AM CST

(Newser) – Your neighbor’s yard is strewn with lit-up Santas, blinking stars, and a waving snowman. Think he’s trying to tell you something? It turns out he is, psychologists tell the Chicago Tribune. They consider decorations a manifestation of our need to communicate. “It’s a very basic tendency to know others and to need to be known by others,” says one psychologist. “We jump on these sanctioned opportunities to do that.”

One evolutionary biologist had students survey 3,600 homes, and generated a map placing the most flamboyantly decorated. He then compared that to a map showing which neighborhoods had the most social capital. “It turns out that this urge to decorate your house is an expression of neighborliness,” he says. “Some of the best neighborhoods literally glow more brightly.”