Harmony at Christmas

Feng Shui tips for peace, harmony and reducing stress at Christmas
Christmas time used to mean something a little different from today. Not only because we're now adults, but Christmas was different (at least it seemed to be) growing up in the 60s. It seemed to be a standard thing that the family would get together and spend Christmas Eve tending to all the last minute things in preparation for the big day. Grandma, Mum, Aunties gathered together making sure that all the food was prepared for the next day and the decorations were complete. The men kept their distance from the kitchen and ensured the garden was well tended and there was enough beer, wine and drinks for the children. The children were left mostly to entertain themselves (and we all loved that) till the dawn of Christmas Day.

Today, with the ease of living in other states and countries, everyone seems to be so scattered and festivities with family and friends sometimes become a formality and even fragmented. It often takes a committed and concerted effort to bring it all 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 the top eight Feng Shui remedies to put the fun back into your family during this Christmas season.

For Feng Shui harmony, the three 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 south, northwest and west.

1) The south brings with it the influence of difficulties and obstacles and there are several ways 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, whichever works best for you.

2) The northwest has the energy of illness and requires the placement of six metal coins in this area to reduce its impact. Alternatives could include the Wu Lu, also known as the Calabash.

3) The energy of arguments can be stimulated by movement in the west sector of your home and so it is worthwhile considering introducing the colour red into this area during the 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.

4) 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. But 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.

Consequently, the most important step I take is to make a "wish list" of gifts early in November. In this way I avoid the crush and it gives me the opportunity to simply enjoy spending time with loved ones as Christmas Day draws nearer.

5) Budgeting is the other way you can manage to minimise stress levels and is essential for pre and post Christmas pleasure. In the effort to make sure every gift is special and meaningful, we can sometimes forget to take into consideration our bank balance. So, particularly if you have a large family, make an agreement to put a dollar value on each gift or just buy for the kids. Alternatively, have a Kris Kringle where everyone draws a name and buys a gift only for that person.

6) Write up a Christmas card list and keep it in a safe place. In this way, it saves time and therefore minimises stress, when you can simply refer to it year after year, adding and deleting names as required. Plan to write your Christmas cards in early December and even book a date in your diary to prompt you.

7) According to Feng Shui tradition, the pine tree is a symbol of longevity. Interestingly, this is the tree that is often depicted and used as the centrepiece throughout the Christmas season.

From a symbolic perspective, the location of the Christmas tree is important in that it should be in an area where the family often comes together. In this way, and on a subtle level, whenever you see the tree it evokes a sense of all the wonderful things that Christmas is about.

During Christmas, a great part of our family tradition is getting together specifically to decorate our tree. We turn it into a great social event and this sets the tone for this special time of the year.

8) Lastly, look after your "inner chi" and try to be moderate and balanced in all that you do. It may be the season to be jolly, but over indulgence, particularly with alcohol, can be dangerous. If you're unable to be moderate then say no to a party or two. It is also worthwhile to keep moving. Maintain your regular exercise routine and it will help you to maintain the stamina that the festive season often requires from you.

Fill your home with lots of love, laughter and good cheer during this Christmas season and I wish you all a Merry Christmas.

Juliana Abram's courses are endorsed by the International Feng Shui Association