Creating Peace, as you Decorate your Home for the Holidays
At this busy time of year, this is my prayer: Let there be peace on earth. And let it begin in my heart, in my home.
I know in order to create anything, I must first schedule time for it, and second I must create a physical space for it.
Most of us decorate our homes for this darkest time of year. We add lights and decorations that remind us of all we value and love.
So, here are my tips on how to create peace in your home as you decorate your home for the holidays:
Start with an Intention
Begin the process of creating sacred space in your home with a prayer, or poem, that connects your attention with your intention for peace and ease.
You may want to sage the room, or light the candles. You may want to turn on peaceful music that inspires you.
Create Space by Removing Items
I always start my holiday decorating by removing the decorative accessories in each room, to create space for my holiday decor. I round them up, room by room, and after I’ve unpacked the bins of holiday decorations, I pack those items in the same bins.
Gather any clutter you find into two piles:
- Any items that you can easily return to their proper place, elsewhere in the home, or any items you need to urgently handle. After you decorate, put those items where they go.
- Any items that you won’t have time to handle until after the holiday. After you decorate, bag, box, or bin those items and put them in an area of the home where they’ll safely await your attention. Then schedule TIME on your January schedule to handle them. (More tips will be coming in the New Year about the easiest ways to process clutter.)
Bring in Nature
Do you feel deeply nourished by the natural world at this time of year? You can increase your connection by bringing real bits of nature indoors. Before you decorate for the holiday, go for a walk in your neighborhood and collect what calls to you: pine cones, fir boughs, berries.
Twenty years ago, my youngest daughter and I collected some vines as we hiked through the woods in early December. At home, we spray painted them gold and they’ve been part of our holiday decor ever since. As I unpack them, I still remember her 4-year old exuberance as we gathered those vines.
As you integrate gifts of nature from your neighborhood into your holiday decor, you—and your home—will feel more connected to the land you live on.
Bring in the Divine
As you unpack your holiday decorations, ponder their meaning. Ask yourself: How do these items connect my attention to the Divine?
- Do your holiday lights bring your attention to the Light of Love?
- Do your ornaments bring joyful memories to mind?
- Does each holiday decoration hold uplifting meaning?
As you handle the items, imbue them with your loving intention to create harmony and peace in your home and heart.
An altar is any item or group of items that alters, or uplifts, your mood or energy level. In a church or temple, an altar lifts your attention to the divine.
In your home, an altar creates the same kind of portal for you attention. But only if you place the items with intention.
So, I decorate mindfully, using my intention to weave the sacred into each of my altars.
- As I string lights on the tree and around the house, I intend to strengthen the light of love within my heart.
- As I set up the nativity, I invoke into my own heart the protectiveness of Joseph, the love of Mary, the innocence of her newborn babe, the reverence of the shepherds and the generosity of the wise men.
- As I place the Santa, I remember my answer when my young children asked me if Santa was real: “Santa is as real as your parents!” And… I remember their excitement when they were finally old enough to stay up on Christmas Eve and stuff the stockings and play Santa. I choose to feel that kind of joy in my gift-giving!
Edit Your Collection
Each December as I unpack the decorations, if I find ornaments that no longer hold meaning for any of us, I pass them on.
As our children became adults with homes of their own, each one got to claim a favorite holiday decoration to start their own collection, which has also helped to edit our decorations.
Finish by Connecting to the Spirit of Your Home
Most westerners treat the space inside their home as if it were dead. But the indigenous treat the space inside their homes as if it is as alive, as intelligent, and as aware as they know that nature is. Just three because the chi, or nature energy, has been enclosed in a structure doesn’t mean it’s dead or unaware.
I believe the chi inside your home is alive, intelligent, and aware of you. I believe this Spirit of Your Home wants to partner with you. So try this experiment:
- After you’ve decorated for the holiday, choose an altar that feels wonderful to you, and stand in front of it. Dedicate this altar to the Spirit of Your Home. Flow your love and gratitude into the room…. and imagine your love flowing into and filling each room in your home.
- Express your gratitude to your the Spirit of Your Home: for shelter, for security, for the space it provides for your life. (However imperfect your home may feel to you, it’s way more spacious and luxurious than many of the world’s population currently experience. And when we focus on gratitude, magic happens. So be grateful for what your home is doing for you.)
- Connect your attention also to the Land you live on, and flow your love into the area around your home. Connect your attention to Mother Earth and flow your love to her.
- Ask Mother Earth, the Land you live on, and the Spirit of Your Home to work with you, to hold your intention for peace, harmony and ease this holiday season. Ask that the chi in your home be attuned to your intentions.
- During the holiday season, each time you look at this altar, renew your gratitude, love and request that the Spirit of Your Home work with you to create what you prefer.
Let me know if these tips are supportive for you!