What makes For a Merry Christmas?

From The Register Mail:

Most people likely aren’t living Christmas the way they truly want to live it, according to a Knox College psychology professor who has surveyed people on what makes for a Merry Christmas.

“Most people would say what’s important at Christmas time is family and spirituality,” said Tim Kasser, who has been at Knox since 1995 and serves as chairman of the psychology department.

Those people, however, need to take a look at how they’re spending their time.

“Are you spending your time with family or are you at the mall shopping? Are you at church or are you on eBay? The answers may signal to you that you’re not living Christmas the way you want to live it,” said Kasser, author of the book “The High Price of Materialism,” and co-author of a 2002 study “What Makes For a Merry Christmas.”

Kasser has spent his career researching people’s values and quality of life and the impact of consumerism on those areas.

The study was “kind of a microcosm” about a very specific and important time of the year.

The study, conducted after Christmas 2001 and including responses from 117 Knox County residents and Knox students, is the only research to be found that specifically addresses people’s well-being around Christmas, Kasser said.