Am I the only one out there who lost a week in November? Thanksgiving seems freakishly early this year, as does everything else connected to the holidays. I need all the help I can get to stay calm in the midst of the chaos, which is why I’m so grateful for Carol Olmstead’s guest post below on how to apply Feng Shui principles to Thanksgiving celebrations. Thanks, Carol!
Feng Shui and the Three Harmonies of Thanksgiving
Guest Post by Carol Olmstead, Feng Shui Master Practitioner, www.FengShuiForRealLife.com
Many of us have a love-hate relationship with holidays that involve food and family, especially Thanksgiving. We love the aromas and bounty of food and the joy of seeing everyone, but the strain of cooking all those meals, cleaning the house, entertaining out-of-town visitors, and worrying about eating too much can sometimes result in more stress than harmony. But, as always, Feng Shui can come to the rescue. Here are some of my favorite Feng Shui tips to help you create a peaceful Thanksgiving around the family table. I call them The Three Harmonies of Thanksgiving.
The Harmony of Seating
The dining room is considered a place of wealth in Feng Shui, so if you have one be sure to use it, not just for the big meal, but even when you’re enjoying those leftovers. Don’t forget to bring out the “good stuff,” like grandma’s china, mom’s crystal, and even the silver you hate to polish. What are you saving it for if not the holidays? Round or oval is the best Feng Shui table shape for Thanksgiving dinner because the absence of sharp corners helps energy and conversation flow smoothly. If your table is a rectangle or square, avoid seating your guests near corners, which can cause a feeling of unease during the meal, and use a tablecloth to blunt the edges, or drape live greenery across the corners to soften them. And keep this in mind – whoever is seated nearest to the door will be the first one to leave. So you might want to consider a seating plan if you have an annoying relative who always wants to talk politics.
The Harmony of Décor
In Feng Shui, we divide energy into yin, the dark, heavy side, and yang, the bright, lighter side. If your family is prone to arguments, minimize the yang energy. This includes keeping the lights low, minimizing shiny surfaces, and removing the knife after you carve the turkey. Decorate with soothing, earthy colors like pumpkin, goldenrod, and mocha, and use a centerpiece of orange flowers and fresh fruit and vegetables like pumpkins and gourds. In Feng Shui the color orange is used to encourage conversation, and the fresh veggies and fruit represent good health and longevity. Be sure to remove photos of deceased relatives or animals from the dining room, because they are thought to create health problems when you dine in their presence.
The Harmony of Food
Since the winter months are considered to be part of the yin side of our energy, we need to balance this darker, lower, colder energy with strong yang energy in the Thanksgiving menu. Cooked foods, spices, and hot foods such as spicy peppers, ginger, and garlic are yang energy, as is chocolate – which is always on my Thanksgiving menu. Lighter foods like raw vegetables, white potatoes, and fish are yin, and are better used in moderation during the winter holidays. But that doesn’t mean you have to totally give up yin foods for Thanksgiving. Feng Shui is all about balance, so just be sure to balance lighter foods with a healthy dose of colorful, hot colors. That means you can still have your mashed potatoes and keep your Feng Shui menu harmony, as long as you serve them in a brightly-colored bowl.