Monday, November 19, 2007

Could feng shui save the family dinner?

…The holidays are coming. The cooking, the cleaning, the spending, all of these can create more stress than harmony.

…The other night, Paula Deen of the Food Channel said her family wad-ups were focused on gambling. They all convene at a relative’s to cook, eat, drink and gamble—with “real money,” she added delightedly.

….Then the relative whose house it is, come Saturday or so, would say. “Tail lights, I want to see tail lights.”

…Time to go!

…According to Feng Shui practitioner (Chinese geomancy or the art of arrangement to promote positive forces) Carol M Olmstead, your stress could be lightened by arranging your house differently at the holidays.

…First, she says, use the dining room. This is not the time to sit in front of the TV to eat.

…Bring out the good stuff—the china, the crystal. Nice things make people behave better.

…To promote conversation, place orange flowers in the centerpiece. To bring about good health and longevity, make a centerpiece of fruit and veggies.

…Try to use an oval table if you can—no sharp corners. If you use a table with corners, soften it with a cloth.

…Place bowls of snacks and trays of drinks where people gather to represent prosperity.

…Yin is the dark heavy side. Yang energy is lighter, airier. Winter is yin. So you need yang foods—cooked foods, spicy foods, using ginger or garlic.

…If your family is prone to arguments, invite an even number of guests and keep the lights low and lighting soft. Decorate with earth tones like gold, brown, and green.

…Keep shiny surfaces and sharp corners to a minimum. When the meat is carved, remove the knife (for feng shui, not public safey reasons, at least HA hopes so, although she doesn’t know your family personally).

…Often, whoever is next to the door is the first to leave. If you have annoying relatives, Olmstead suggests you remember that when doing the seating plan. Ooo—she is good!

…You can get a free ezine about feng shui by going to

…The picture today? The turkey pictures were all shiny, brown, and predictable. HA thought serving your family a whole lemon was kind of kickass. She gets on tangents like that.

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