Do Christmas gatherings drive you crazy? Do your family gatherings generate more stress than harmony? The problem may not be you or your loved ones. It could be your house.

As you prepare your home for the holidays this year, take a moment to consider some of the following tips based on the principles of feng shui, the ancient art of enhancing positive energy in an environment. By enhancing this flow of energy, known as “chi,” within your home, your holiday season is more likely to become a time of relaxation and goodwill.

o Banish clutter. This is one of the most basic feng shui rules, serving as the starting point for almost all other feng shui activities. As the holiday decorations come out, some everyday items may need to be stocked to avoid a cacophony of competing objects.

“It’s not relaxing to be surrounded by so much that you don’t know where to look next,” says Linda Binns, owner of Harmony Inside & Out, which specializes in holistic health consulting and feng shui. “People fall into the trap of thinking that they have to put up decorations for years, whether they like them or not, and somehow make everything fit around their usual items.”

Binns suggests displaying only the items you truly love and not cluttering your surroundings, which restricts the flow of positive energy and creates discord.

o Balance your color scheme. While you may love the bright reds, greens, and golds of the holiday season, these colors add to the existing energy and should be balanced with more calming hues like creams, blues, and pale tones.

“There are places and times when you might want to create a lot of energy, and that’s where you can stack up those sparkly Christmas decorations,” says Binns. For example, holiday meals can be more exciting and joyful when bright and sparkly table and decorations are used.

o Decorate for harmony. Your choice and placement of decorations is crucial to the atmosphere of your home and the harmony of those who enter. As mentioned above, too many bright colors can create an overly stimulating environment and increase the risk of tension. However, there aren’t enough Christmas items that result in a “dull atmosphere,” says Binns.

She suggests small rooms have décor that has a matte finish, rather than lots of reflective surfaces, to help absorb excess energy. The flowing shapes of the ribbons and fabrics also help to create a soft and calm atmosphere.

o Don’t overdo the Christmas tree. You may love sparkly lights and pretty Christmas tree decorations, so bigger is better, right? Incorrect.

“Evergreens naturally have a pointed ‘yang’ shape that can disrupt the even flow of energy in a room,” says Binns. “Just as you wouldn’t want to overwhelm a room with a piece of furniture that’s way out of proportion to the size of the room, a tree that’s too big doesn’t lead to a relaxing, harmonious feel.”

Binns says the yang energy of a Christmas tree can be toned down by using cream and other muted colors among the brighter decorations and by placing bows or fabric garlands on the branches to help soften the tree’s rough edges. Also, it is important to place the tree away from seating areas to ensure the comfort of friends and family.

o Make holiday meals memorable. The excitement adds to holiday meals when the table is set with hard, shiny items like silver serving pieces, sparkling crystals, and brightly colored Christmas china. Red napkins will also create a festive atmosphere, while green napkins and cream-colored tablecloths will tone down the table.

Speaking of tables, round or oval are the best shapes for a feng shui friendly dinner. The absence of sharp corners and hard edges helps energy flow freely and smoothly through the room. If you have a rectangular dining table, make sure your guests aren’t sitting too close to the corners, which can cause an awkward feeling during the meal.

In addition to the setting, the foods you choose are important to the overall experience. Binns, a trained nutritionist and holistic health practitioner, says, “Too much sugar or rich food has been found to create a feeling of fatigue and overload the body’s digestive system. Excess alcohol overstimulates the liver. As with most things, moderation is key, and serving plenty of fresh vegetables will help balance richer dishes.

Binns adds some general advice: “If people are feeling closeted or claustrophobic, they’re more likely to argue. So remove unnecessary furniture, open windows briefly to cool things down, and use water features like small fountains or candles.” floating”. , to create a calming influence.”

Candles give off natural energy and complement the calming effects of dim lighting. Fluorescent lighting, especially when added to the already stimulating effects of Christmas decorations, creates an energy drain and should be reduced. Finally, add some soothing music to your surroundings and turn off the TV, if possible put it in a closed entertainment center.

“Feng shui is an ancient practice that really works to improve a wide variety of areas in our lives,” says Binns. “By surrounding yourself with things and people you really love and following a few basic principles, you can create balance, harmony and relaxation, which will help you through the holidays and into the new year.”

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