It's that time again... time for gatherings, celebrations and lots and lots of cheer. But are you wondering how feng shui and the holidays go together? Simply put, feng shui is the art of designing and arranging our environment so that we feel as good as we possibly can—and of course during the holidays feeling good is at the very tiptop of all our wish lists. So let's take a look at some quick and easy ways we can decorate and energize our spaces to ensure the most fabulous holiday season ever! 1. ADD GROUNDING & CALMING DECORATIONS
As we all know, color is an important part of the holiday festivities. We bring in sparkling & star-shaped decorations, brightly-colored accessories, red accents, blinking lights, fireplaces, candles, pointed evergreen trees and lots of playful figurines—all of these items falling into the "fire" element category in feng shui, and all meant to inspire celebration and holiday bliss.
Even though many of us thrive in the intense energy so common to this time of year, this fiery intensity can evoke more stress than joy for the rest of us. While all these bold decorations are festive and fun, also try bringing in grounding, earthy colors and elements such as glittering golds which can have a stabilizing effect on a space and help balance all the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Also consider incorporating calming and cooling deep blues and water elements, which can add a relaxing effect and help calm the nerves.
Other decorative ways to incorporate more soothing or grounding influences into your arrangements might be to:
• paint an accent wall a shimmering gold
• incorporating a golden yellow table cloth or earth tone napkins
• add sparkling golden ornaments & decorations in earth tones such a pumpkin, goldenrod, and chocolates
• exchanging red or brightly-colored, blinking tree lights with cooling blue or calming white strands
• try adding more mirrors around the home which have a soothing, watery effect, especially over fireplaces.
• adding soothing water features, cut-glass decorations, or reflective glass ornaments
• decorating the table with a glass bowl centerpiece full of water and floating candles 2. INCORPORATE ALL THE SENSES
So often the hustle and bustle of the season, along with our already-overloaded schedules can keep us up in our heads, instead of in our hearts. To help stay calm as well as connected to all our loved ones, using feng shui to help incorporate all your senses into your holiday decorating can be a fantastic and uplifting boost. When all the senses are present and enlivening, it automatically creates a grounding, soothing, and comforting effect on the body. Sensuality within the home's design helps bring people together and stay connected.
• Cook cider and cinnamon sticks to fill the home with a warm, welcoming scent
• incorporate fir and evergreen scented candles
• try adding 5 ml of natural essential oils into 1 gallon of paint which adds a soft, subtle yet inspiring scent to your rooms through the holidays as well as the rest of the year!
• Mix a new set of holiday music that fits all of your guests' ages and tastes to help liven up the mood, yet soft enough to allow conversation.
• incorporate relaxing background music to your holiday cooking, cleaning or shopping.
• Decorate with soft, cuddly throws & pillows in your gathering spaces.
• add flannels and warm wools to the guest room bedding.
• Arrange bowls of nuts, candy, dried fruit and other treats throughout your gathering space. 3. CREATE INVITING ARRANGEMENTS
Creating inviting seating and decorative arrangements in Feng Shui helps to send subtle, unconscious messages to your family and guests. It tells the world how open you are to receiving, and to embracing those who walk through the front door. When furniture is placed in an inviting manner, and your home is laid out so that you can comfortably and safely move through the space, it helps draw energy into your environment, as well as stay focused on embracing your loved ones during the holidays.
Holiday Alert: people in small, cramped spaces may get very feisty! Especially when entertaining large groups, try opening up your seating arrangements by clearing the space of any sharp edges, excess furniture or over-sized coffee tables that could block the flow of energy through the space. Also consider arranging your major seating to face toward the entrance to the room, almost in the gesture of a wide-open embrace. Especially with all the socializing that happens during the holidays, think of your furniture as guests at a gathering and arrange them in friendly, inviting, intimate positions. When you create a space that is open, welcoming and warm, it helps inspire those same traits in your guests, and draw positive energy into your life. 4. ENSURE HARMONIOUS DINING
Since most of our holiday gatherings focus around sharing meals together, designing an eating area conducive to harmony, connection and playful interaction is extremely important. First, make sure that everyone at your dining table has a beautiful view from their seat. If you're looking for more harmony in the home, try incorporating a round or oval table this season, which has a less formal feeling than rectangular or square tables. Try this tip, and watch the effects on your connections with loved ones. When everyone can clearly see everyone else, we naturally feel more connected, and it helps smooth out rough relationships and make everyone feel important and honored.
Also try keeping the chairs at a similar size and avoid the classic "king and queen" chairs during the holidays. Having everyone sitting in equally sized chairs helps to bring more connection, and less hierarchy, separation, aggression or dominant behavior.
And lastly, keep centerpieces nice and low. Large, tall or bulky centerpieces create symbolic rifts or divisions between your guests. Tabletop tip: if you're paring down your decorations in the rest of the house, here's a nice place to put shiny, colorful decorative arrangements if you'd like more energized eating experiences.
Watch this Friday's episode and learn many more tips about dining room Feng Shui: December 7th on HGTV / 9:30pm and 1:30am ET (check local listings)5. BRING NATURE INDOORS
Nature automatically has a balancing effect on a space. By bringing in elements of nature, we create a serene environment. Decorating with plants, flowers and other objects from nature can help reduce stress and make your entire space soothing and inviting. Adding poinsettias, live evergreen trees, fresh wreaths, garland, holly berries and pine cones can be the perfect natural touch. Also try arrangements of colorful fresh fruit, bowls of nuts, or make strands of strung cranberries and popcorn, which can turn into a fun family ritual. 6. REDUCE CLUTTER
The holidays are almost always a time of gathering new possessions and gifts. But in feng shui, when our homes become stuffed, the energy in our homes become blocked and stagnant, prevently new experiences, people and abundance to come into our life. This time of year is the perfect time to celebrate the old, and make way for the new. By sorting and purging old belongings that nolonger are used or necessary, letting them go or passing them on to someone else, we not only create a more calming environment but also allow space for new things to enter. You'll feel lighter going into the new year, with more focus and clarity about the good times to come...
If holiday stress is a big issue, consider keeping holiday decorations to a minimum or contain them to one room. An excess of visual clutter can keep you from focusing on what's at hand...having FUN! Cards, holiday paper, gifts, bows, food, fruitcakes, decorations, lights and candles all can generate a lot of excess energy. If you find yourself less focused and more stressed during the holidays, paring down might be just the thing... 7. CREATE SACRED SPACE
Don't forget this last, but most important step: creating a sacred personal space just for you!
At the end of the day, make sure to take time out for yourself. As you decorate your home for family and friends, make sure to create a separate space, room, or even just a chair, solely for you. Having a comfortable area where you can go to unplug and recharge will give you the energy to handle all of the holiday's many challenges. Find a small spot away from the rest of the family, incorporate your favorite colors, sounds, textures and lighting that fills you up and centers your spirit.
Here's one of the ways I keep myself feeling nurtured during the holidays: Fill a basket with a delicious tea, a scented candle, a soft blanket, writing journal and favorite book and keep it in your special place when you need a little pick-me-up. Do something solely for yourself and that energy will ripple throughout the entire season. Making sure you have a private place - sacred space - helps you to regroup, and by touching that core of ourselves, it opens our hearts, keeps us reminded of the true meaning of the season, and why we come together in the first place. YOUR HOLIDAY HOMEWORK:
Grab a piece of paper and write down numbers 1 through 7. Beside each number write down one thing you will do in each of the categories above to help create a more calming holiday season for you and your family. Make your choices simple enough that you can accomplish one a day for the following week. This way you'll have plenty of time before the holidays hit to feel grounded, calm and joyful. Now that you've made your list, and have checked it twice, let's see who's going to have a naughty or nice holiday this season! If you follow the steps above, my guess for the happiest holiday household would be.... YOU!
About the Author:
|Take Stephanie McWilliams' free 6-week e-class (link: http://evolvingarts.com) outlining tiny changes you can make to each room of your house to see big results in your life. Stephanie is a feng shui expert and certified holistic health counselor. She is currently host of HGTV's Fun Shui television show.|
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