Being together with your loved ones is one of the greatest parts of the holidays, but even the most tight-knit families can start to feel cramped or stressed when quarters are close. As much as we’d love to excuse ourselves for a quick vinyasa flow every time things get tense, there are ways to keep the good vibes going that don’t involve a yoga mat.
If you happen to be hosting Thanksgiving this year, it can feel like much of the pressure is on you to keep the peace and keep the conversation flowing. It turns out, that by applying the principles of mindfulness to entertaining and feng-shuing your Thanksgiving-day decor, you can set the tone for a truly authentic affair. Even better? These easy-to-execute tips will allow you to do so in a fraction of the time it takes to roast a bird.
Keep scrolling for a peace-keeping tips from a feng shui master and entertaining pro.
Clear the clutter
Priya Sher, Los Angeles-based feng shui master, reminds us how important first impressions can be. “Ensure the hall is de-cluttered because this is the point where energy enters your home,” says Sher. “Keep shoes and coats in a closed cupboard so they don’t stagnate the energy, and be sure to place some fresh flowers in the entryway to uplift the energy there.”
Camille Styles, Austin-based entertaining expert for Target, knows a thing or two about a show-stopping tablescape. “I’m always looking for ways to incorporate organic elements into my tabletop,” says Styles. “Think freshly-snipped eucalyptus branches down the center of the table, a big bowl of juicy oranges, and autumn leaves and acorns mixed into floral arrangements.” Sher similarly suggests a simple but powerful nature-inspired element. “Place four pieces of bamboo in a vase of water on the table to support the energy of your dining space.”
Think up a tangible way to give thanks
While Cards Against Humanity might get broken out later in the evening, Styles offers a more Thanksgiving-appropriate card game that will leave everyone feeling a little lighter. “I love to give guests a tangible way to count their blessings by passing around cards where they can write down what they’re thankful for. Once everyone has read their cards out loud, we’ll pack them up for a Thanksgiving time capsule that will be fun to dig up and revist next year.”
Choose a neutral color palette
“Keep colors neutral in the dining space to encourage calm,” says Sher. “The ideal table is round or oval as they are lacking in sharp edges.” To add an additional aesthetic layer, mood lighting can help. “Nothing’s more calming than dining by candlelight,” says Styles. “I truly believe that flickering candles immediately bring everyone’s pulse down a few notches and will make them want to linger around the table.”
Keep calm and smell on
Scents absolutely have the power to positively affect your mood, so pick one to diffuse such as pine or cedar that’s appropriate for the season and will turn up the cozy, easy-going vibes. Candles are also a nice addition to set the mood “I’m obsessed with the new Jenni Kayne candle in Currant $55, ” says Styles. “It’s cozy and spicy and makes me want to stay cuddled up on my couch all evening.”
If you’re on the hunt for Thanksgiving table inspo, here’s how to set the table for under $20 and here are Friendsgiving tips from the owners of Foxfire Mountain House.