Experts: Love for the holidays isn't just within your heart; it's in the brain

It may not be a winter wonderland, but Robert's Christmas Wonderland in Clearwater puts a twinkle in Debbie Shambo's eye year-round.

"Everybody that comes in, they're happy," she explained. "I bring everybody here that visits."

She doesn't have just one Christmas tree.

"I have five," Shambo continued. "I have all sizes. I leave one tree up all year. I just change decorations. Every year I add another tree. I love Christmas."

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"I see people throughout the year," said Dennis Wilkinson, a manager at Robert's Christmas Wonderland. "A lot of the same folks coming back again and again."

And even some new customers from across the country -- like Julie Minahan of Oregon.

"My husband knows I'm obsessed with Christmas so he's like, ‘We need to pull in here so you can see this store,’" said Minahan.

She said it can begin to look a lot like Christmas at her home way in advance.

"To bring the spirit in sooner," she said, "who wouldn't want to be happy earlier?"

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One study out of Denmark found that, for some, there is actually a holiday center in the brain that can light up when experiencing those tidings of comfort and joy.

"When we look at what sorts of brain chemicals people have fire in different situations, we see certain things," said Dr. Ryan Wagoner with the University of South Florida Department of Psychiatry. "So, if you like the holidays and you really enjoy those, you might have some of the good brain chemicals as we refer to them in general."

"For example," he added, "dopamine, which is that happiness one; serotonin, that feeling of togetherness -- those can fire."

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"We have Christmas CDs and they sell year-round. People love to listen to Christmas music," said Wilkinson.

"Why does Hallmark show Christmas movies throughout the year and, starting October, show them every day? People want to see them," said Robert Frank, the owner of Robert's Christmas Wonderland.

So if you want to deck the halls a little earlier or keep the tree up a little longer, indulge that.

"Things like prolonging the good sensations from the holidays have a lot of upsides and very few downsides," said Dr. Wagoner.

"There's a joy associated with Christmas and in this difficult world it's nice to have something that you can look to enjoy and relax," added Frank.