Updated: Nov 12, 2020
At Nested Feng Shui we never miss a chance to be festive and celebrate! In addition to lifting the spirits, decorating for any holiday is a great way to pull away from technologies like our phones, TVs, and computers, which can make us feel alienated. Decorating for the holidays (especially for parents and children) encourages healthy tech habits by immersing us in our physical world.
In many ways, “celebration” has lost its luster because of the constant stream of images we can compare our lives to--relearning how to celebrate for ourselves and with our friends and family (rather than for a camera) is a worthwhile experiment. Nested Feng Shui clients often lament watching others go to parties, seeing decorated homes and festive projects, and being “too busy” to create a playful environment for themselves. First of all: yes, we here feel overwhelmed and busy too. Second: this is your life, and you choose what recharges you and brings value. At Nested Feng Shui, we understand that sometimes it feels like celebration is at the bottom of our (very long) to-do lists, but we are going to explore what makes decorating for the holidays valuable and recharging.
In short, appreciating that passing time with festive decor is worthwhile because it allow us to practice “play,” spread joy, gather together, stoke excitement and anticipation, and nourish our selves.
PRACTICE “PLAY” AND EFFORTLESSNESS
Everything can be effortless when we approach it as play. Decorating for the holidays facilitates reassessing our viewpoints. For some, decorating for the holidays might be a daunting task. Further more, there may be fear of judgment—a powerful demotivated. However, with the slightest, most gentle shift in mindset around decorating for any holiday can transform it into a practice in play and positivity. Shopping for decorations can be an adventure. Make it exciting and invite friends to join your safari for the perfect pumpkin, tree, or season-specific flag. Also, when shopping around, pick pieces that—as Marie Kondo would say—“spark joy,” so that each encounter with a decoration it raises your spirits and make you smile. Plus, picking things that spark joy means being able to enjoy them year after year.
Set up is a chance to practice positivity. Holiday decor is like the frosted flower on a cake: not necessary, but able to bring the whole piece to life and make it more inviting for everyone else. This brings us to everyone else: invite any fear of judgment to leave--it will be replaced with an exquisite excitement about sharing our love for Halloween, or Winter, or Fourth of July, or even a birthday. Decorating for a holiday is first and foremost a personal practice, in preparing our homes and ourselves for the changes that come with each passing season. Your community will, even in a small way, be brightened by them.
Decorating for a holiday or celebration is a great way to increase our awareness of our external world and community. By visually transforming our homes each season, we demonstrate an interest in the outside world. From a Feng Shui (chi) perspective, we are inviting positive energy in with every pumpkin, light, or little figurine we place to celebrate. Additionally, joy is two-sided. Everyone who drives or walks by and smiles at the house receives a blessing from seeing your festive visual feast, and in turn, an abundance of blessings come to you and your home. It’s a win-win!
Historically, holidays and celebrations were an excuse to bring friends, family, and communities together. Prior to cars and computers, celebrations were the main opportunities for people to connect with one another, outside of work and immediate family. Human interaction is, and has always been, a pivotal part of a healthy human psyche. In the digital age, we often neglect this need for connection because we already feel dialed in, and can easily forget the years of traditions and celebrations which previously brought communities together. At the micro level, decorating for any holiday or celebration is a great excuse to spend time with friends and family. We can make a night of it, inviting friends over to help us dress up our spaces, celebrating the progress of the year by playing seasonal music, making or buying seasonal treats and drinks. All in all, it's a great excuse to have a good time. It may seem extravagant or exhausting to some, but decorating, when viewed as valuable, becomes a weapon for fighting off loneliness.
On a macro level, decorating for any holiday is a signal to the outside world that we are in touch with seasonal changes. For the most part, the majority of people reading Feng Shui are no longer farmers: we are plugged into phones and computers. Turning to technology means there are fewer and fewer distinct signals of change in our day-to-day lives. We do not have crops to harvest, seeds to plant, or ground to turn. We aren't outside as much, and see images of all types of landscapes, beyond the one outside our window. Stability and a sense of community come from feeling the passage of time together, and decorating for a holiday invites us to remember that we are all moving through time and space as one. This awareness of oneness often brings a sense of peace. Both on the micro scale--of bringing people together--and the macro scale--of feeling part of something more--decorating for the holidays is a beneficial, recharging experience that bring much-needed vitality back to our lives.
Decorating for a holiday or any celebration in our lives in advance is a great way to build anticipation and excitement! Children thrive off of anticipation in a way that many adults have lost, especially with the internet facilitating access to almost anything, at anytime we want. The practice of appreciating anticipation and knowing how to build excitement about good things to come is important, because an awareness of things to look forward to can help with depression and self-motivation. Often, Nested Feng Shui clients report feeling a need to clean before a consultation. This phenomena, of doing something in anticipation of something else, can be channeled to increase happiness and productivity. For example, if we know that Halloween is around the corner and we want to wear a particular type of costume, we may examine our eating habits and remove sugar in order to look the way we want, by the time we want to. External motivators, like anticipation of a particular event, are a positive way to reignite our forward-thinking focus. Decorating our homes for any holiday is a physical act that motivates us to look forward and interact with our community and environment. Halloween, Fourth of July, Saint Patrick's Day, New Year's, and the like are all holidays for which everyone has certain expectations for the activities that unfold. Building a space with holiday decorations allows us to own our intentions around the upcoming festivities, meaning that the decorations we place in our home help us integrate our wants and needs around a particular community event so that we are prepared and excited about a special day of the year. Celebration is a good thing. The more we celebrate, the better we understand that life is inherently joyous. We want to encourage community and coming together through special holidays because it allows us to feel less alone. Anticipation is a great motivator for moving forward in our lives, and festive decorations are a great way to lift the spirits and encourage healthy planning and self care skills.
Celebrating any holiday with holiday decor is a way to honor ourselves and the changing landscapes and seasons that surround us. Festive decoration has many more benefits than the one we covered today including its ability to challenge and stimulate our creative skills in a safe, playful environment and act a mirror and vehicle of self-expression. But remember, most importantly, any holiday is an opportunity to relax! As beneficial as focusing on beautifying your home and turning that act into social play can be, the goal of a home is to have a safe place where you can recharge and if that means not lifting a finger to acknowledge a holiday as it comes and goes, than that’s all right too. All options correct.
For some sweet, simple decorating ideas check out