Decorate with Spirit: 5 Ways to invite peace into your home for the holidays
Photograph by David Brittain/CH&I / IPC+ syndication
Many of us are so overwhelmed by holiday pressures that we miss out on the special moments that give meaning to this time of year. Whatever your religious beliefs, set yourself up for a more meaningful, peaceful holiday season by creating a spiritual space within your home.
Feeling oppressed by holiday paraphernalia can make day-to-day clutter even more intolerable than usual—and it can distract you from the deeper significance of all those decorations in the first place.
Do a major declutter of living areas before you start decorating, and relocate or store redundant furniture (an extra chair that’s just for show, a side table that gets in the way), and consider donating unwanted items to places in need. Put some collectibles away to create more tabletop space, encourage more flow for conversation, and put more focus on the holiday items that are most significant to you. A leaner, less cluttered home is the energetic balance to the holiday chaos that’s about to descend.
Clear the Air
Burning sage to cleanse a home is an effective ritual that has been used through the ages to consecrate energies and allow the best future to unfold. After cleaning your home, light the sage and imagine negative energy leaving. Then fill up the space with visualizations of the authentic exchanges and heartfelt moments you will share with your loved ones. State your intentions out loud, such as, “This home is a place of divine peace and love that enables us to feel the true essence of the season.” Or, “This home enhances our family heritage and growing traditions and brings us all closer to one another.”
Bring Nature In
A University of Washington study found that just being able to see elements of nature can induce relaxation and lower your heart rate. “Interaction with the natural world is calming and will make you feel subconsciously more at ease,” says Kate Hanley, author of The Anytime, Anywhere Chill Guide. “Get a real tree, hang clove-studded oranges as ornaments, and put pinecones in a glass vase for centerpieces.” Use a bowl of snow to chill party drinks, decorate with real holly and poinsettias, and don’t forget the mistletoe—kissing reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Decorate with Intention
As you bring out the decorations you’ve collected over the years, take a minute to think about their true meaning. That wreath is a symbol of eternal life. Hanukkah candles symbolize the light of the creator in our lives. A decorated tree represents growth and new beginnings. And don’t forget angels. “You can connect more deeply to symbols of angels by becoming aware of which ones really take your breath away and make you pause and reflect,” says Lorna Byrne, author of A Message of Hope from the Angels. “Ask your angels to fill your home with their love and guidance.”
Honor Your Space
Whether you take a quiet moment by yourself or join your family to give thanks before a holiday meal at home, try to include the environment itself in your prayers and declarations of gratitude. Look at your home as its own living entity, providing a setting for your memories and serving as the steadfast protector that shelters you and your family. By honoring your space you encourage goodwill and gratitude within your home, inviting a deeper experience of the holidays.