Being "scentsible" this month can make all the difference between creating a happy household and one where anxiety (and even inflated expectations) can hamper an otherwise memorable holiday season.
Diffusing the scent of cinnamon around your home is calming, cooling holiday tradition that helps offset excess heat from fires, candles, and even lights. (This scent is also considered a male aphrodisiac, and it's even said that cinnamon prompts men to spend money!) The scents of pine, cypress, or even eucalyptus are known to cleanse an atmosphere of negative energy, while bayberry can create harmony. And putting whole cloves in oranges, then placing them in the kitchen or dining room, is said to attract abundance, money, and joy!
Well, now we all understand why the big guy with the white beard chose red for his Santa suit! Recent research shows that men who wear red are found to be more appealing to women; not only that, but red-wearing men are also perceived to hold higher social status then men in other colors. Indeed, according to Andrew Elliot, professor of psychology at University of Rochester, men who wear red appear more powerful and confident since many people see red as a rich color that's full of celebration.
Feng Shui says that anyone wearing red is more likely to stoke new fire in their love life, as well as enjoy more passion, emotion, and a higher level of overall energy. And, of course, there's designer Bill Blass' famous quote: "When in doubt, wear red."
In a season that encourages red outfits, your sharp sartorial decision to don this distinctive color could very well bring you the happiest of holidays!
Have you ever heard the traditional Chinese saying, "Heed the time limit, the five colors blind"? This simply means that too much activity can have a numbing effect on your holidays. A preponderance of food and color can also exhaust a person's chi, while an overabundance of sound can provoke anxiety as well.
Feng Shui suggests that you not put up your decorations too early, lest you create less than ideal conditions for happy holidays. This philosophy also says that using images of water or wintry scenes to decorate your living space will also cool your domestic atmosphere, as it can subconsciously help create more harmony and balance!
The ingredients used in the following Yuletide treats have long been believed to have the ability to attract prosperity toward whomever eats them. This gives new meaning to "Put your money where your mouth is," doesn't it?
HEAVENLY HOLIDAY COOKIES
(Makes 2 dozen)
1/2 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons of softened butter
1 large egg
1 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom
2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice
Optional: Red and green icing (or same-colored sprinkle) for decoration
1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
2. In large mixing bowl, cream brown sugar with softened butter until blended. Beat egg separately, then add until blended into butter/sugar mixture.
3. Lightly ladle flour into measuring cup. Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, pumpkin spice) in second mixing bowl. Slowly add dry mixture to egg mixture; blend well.
4. Divide dough in half, then turn out onto lightly floured surface. Flatten with rolling pin, then tightly roll dough toward you. Press both ends with side of your hand to seal, then flatten ever so slightly.
5. Place dough logs 2 to 4 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Dip sharp, non-serrated knife into cold water, then make approximately 1/4-inch-deep, diagonal slashes at 3/4-inch intervals.
6. Bake for 15 minutes, then cool for 5 additional minutes. Cut logs at scores with serrated knife, then cool completely.
7. Decorate with icing or sprinkles. Enjoy!
Nothing can kill feeling merry and bright faster than being stuck in endless highway traffic as you try to head home for the holidays; just as frustrating is when you're powerlessly stuck at the station or on the tarmac.
One of the fastest and easiest ways to restore a healthy sense of balance -- as well as one for your chi -- is to carry orange or tangerine peels with you throughout your travels. To do so, cut nine round pieces of peel about the size of a quarter off the outside of one of these fruits; alternately, you can cut one piece each from nine oranges or tangerines. Be sure to think calm thoughts as you prepare your peels.
The pieces' round shape represents continued abundance, as well as the light of whichever deity you call upon to protect you during your journeys. From a more practical perspective, the peels' citrus oil helps protect you from germs and disease.
If you feel uneasy during your travels, simply break out the peels and take a whiff. You can even rub the peels on your hands so the scent will constantly remain with you.
The scent of orange and tangerine is known to lift mood and spirit alike. And that's the best gift you can give yourself any time of year!
Here's a little "secret Santa Shui" that you can consider my gift to you this holiday season!
Whenever possible, choose the number nine. This single digit is believed by traditions across the globe to be the luckiest number of all. The auspicious number nine is considered, among many other things, to represent the completion of a cycle, the fruition of goals, and the emergence of hopes and dreams. And if you'll be traveling this month, it's truly fortunate to choose a number nine seat on a plane or train, or to even pick a hotel room where this charmed number figures prominently. Other lucky numbers that add up to nine -- such as 27 (2 + 7 = 9) or 18 (1 + 8 = 9) are considered extraordinarily lucky as well.
So, if you hope to get lucky this holiday season, choose nine!