Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Home for the Holidays

Share the Warmth of a Light-Filled Home
As we anticipate gathering with family and friends to celebrate the holidays, the focus frequently turns to home--to favorite traditions. Is your home a place that reflects hospitality and warmth?  Are there certain traditions that you and your family cherish?

I find that especially during the holidays,  I am aware of the "senses" my home provides. The sense of smell is tantalized with lightly fragranced candles, a crackling fire and hot spiced cider.   These scents immediately create a relaxing atmosphere and define the time as something special.

The sense of sight is equally important.  The soft glow of candles can subtly encourage more intimate conversation.  The glow from a chandelier and Christmas tree add sparkle and sets the gathering apart.  Children especially are enchanted by the allure of lights and magical quality that they provide.

Touch is equally important.  An extra soft chenille throw or thick wool wrap lends texture to the room  and invites guests to sink into the furniture and wrap themselves with warmth.  By providing comfort items like these, you are communicating that they truly are welcome guests.

Hearing beautiful music--either instrumental or with lyrics speaks directly to the heart,  conjuring memories of past holidays.  Sometimes we are not even aware why we are so relaxed or nostalgic.  I suspect that music plays a big part in creating those sensations.

The last sense--taste is the one that might first come to mind when one thinks of the holidays.  Food is a central part of many celebrations perhaps because it incorporates so many of the senses.  Certain dishes prepared the same way each year take us back to childhood and to the wonder of the season that we experienced as a child.

I am trying to be more intentional this year as I try to create a Christmas that will be memorable for all.  I encourage you too to think about the setting that you are creating in your home and to do those little things that make such a huge difference.

Merry Christmas to you.  May you have a joyful, sense-filled celebration!

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