In addition, there was the constant reminder of having to buy up a storm and, for the most part, buying gifts for people whom I rarely saw. I love to buy gifts and enjoy the process of giving, but it's so much easier when you've been in regular contact with that person. Throughout the course of the year, you get an idea of what someone wants or perhaps needs.
Now, I've come full circle - I love Christmas once again, just as I did when I was a child but I'm glad it's only once a year. Part of the reason for the change is because I understand what places me under pressure and organise myself so that I avoid those issues.
I'm one of those annoyingly organised people. I frustrate my family because I start talking about dates to get together before the beginning of November. In addition, I start to consider gifts many months beforehand and, even as I write, I've already purchased most of my gifts and know that I shall have the rest sorted before the end of November -, as will be my Christmas cards and emails.
That's how I stay away from the maddening crowds, which are an immense cause of tension for me. And another wonderful benefit is that I can shop around at my leisure for the best deal on a particular item so that overspending doesn't occur. There are no headaches in January.
Lastly, my husband and I usually spend Christmas Eve at home tending to all of the last minute things in preparation for the big day and thoroughly enjoy that part of the process together.
We all want our Christmas to be as smooth and joyful as possible. So, what can you do from a Feng Shui perspective to have your Christmas filled with peace and laughter? Here are some ideas on how to put the fun back into your family day during this Christmas season.
This year, December is a double whammy month in that the same annual energetic influences are present in full force throughout the month. Consequently, for Feng Shui harmony, the most important energies to deal with during the month of December in order to support the aspect of stability and harmony are coming from the East, South and North.The East brings with it the influence of difficulties and obstacles and there are several ways that you can minimise its effect. The best option is to place an all metal wind chime in this area so that you can regularly hear its sound. Alternatively, and this is especially handy if your main entrance falls into the south sector, you can hang a metal bell around the knob of the door.
Another option is to place in the south, a round metal bowl of salted water with six coins or a five element pagoda - whatever works best for you.The South brings with it the energy of unwellness and illness. It requires the placement of six metal coins in this area to reduce its impact. More contemporary alternatives could include the brass Wu Lu, also known as the Calabash.The energy of arguments can be stimulated by movement in the North sector of your home and therefore it is worthwhile considering introducing the colour red in this area during the festive month of December. As we all know, tensions can increase quite dramatically in the busy lead up to Christmas, especially if you're working hard to make sure everything is just so.As the festive season approaches it is worthwhile considering how we can avoid stress during this hectic time of year. Christmas is one of the most emotional and stressful times and so this is a recommendation that is much easier stated than implemented. Yet looking at ways to minimise stress is still a valuable endeavour. For me, one of the hardest parts about Christmas is dealing with the increased traffic on the roads and in the shops. And so, preparation is the key. But for you, it might be saying no to so many parties or suggesting a spending limit for each gift. Whatever your key concern, find it and adapt so that you can make the most of what could be a truly enjoyable, festive season.And finally, I would like to thank you all for the kind thoughts and words I've received during the past year and hope that during the festive season and as we see the climax of 2011, your home will be filled with lots of love, laughter and good cheer. Merry Christmas.
Juliana Abram's is a Feng Shui consultant whose courses are endorsed by the International Feng Shui Association