Matt Killingsworth CONFIRMS what you probably already knew:
As part of my research, I’ve collected datafrom more than 20,000 people who report how happy they feel at randomly selected moments during daily life. These data reveal that we actually are happier than usual on holidays. In fact, Christmas Day, though not celebrated by everyone, is the happiest day of the year by a significant margin. Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve are not too far behind. While it’s easy to call to mind spoiled children fighting over toys or distant relations making awkward conversation, the holidays are, relatively speaking, quite happy.
Of course, this is not to say that everyone is happy on the holidays or that we are as happy as we could be, but holiday misery is the exception rather than the rule. Why is this the case? There are several reasons, but one of the main reasons is that we spend more time interacting with our friends and family on these holidays and, as it turns out, doing so is a robustly positive predictor of our happiness.