Here’s Why Time Feels Different During the Holidays


The holidays are a fun blur of family reunions, gatherings, workplace end of the year dinners, food, and fun. Then, January 2nd comes along and makes us feel like the holidays slipped past us in a curious haze.

Why does this happen?

Well, holidays can change our perception of time. Part of this is because people tend to visit their families and stay in their childhood rooms. Reunions with high school and college friends make us feel farther from the past or make us look forward to the future.

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Anthropologists and psychologists have also been working to answer the question of how different cultures interpret time. Their discoveries show us that time is actually a social construct.

In Time Warped: Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perceptionauthor Claudia Hammond writes,

“Time perception matters because it is the experience of time that roots us in our mental reality. Time is not only at the heart of the way we organize life, but the way we experience it.”

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Time as we know it today, a 24-hour span divided into increments of 60 minutes with 60 seconds each, technically began as a way to help industries and trains. Soon, all industries used clocks to decide when you should get to work, catch a flight, and do other tasks.

Many people get time off during the holidays. This allows them to experience life without the constraints of a clock – which is totally different from almost every other part of their lives. So don’t worry if you feel that the holidays change your perception of time because you are definitely not alone.

What are your thoughts on time and how it seems to warp during the holidays? We want to know your thoughts!