Now pick a favorite character. Santas and snowmen are always popular. Ms. Claus is another popular one and gives off the essence of caring and giving. A tip here is to use a smaller figure, if this is to be used as a centerpiece for the dining table. Nobody wants to have to look over or around the centerpiece while talking to someone on the other side of the table.
Find a spare room--empty bedroom, walk-in closet, furnace room or bathroom if need be, and turn it into your serenity room. Darken the walls. Furnish the place with very little--a stand for candles, a small stereo, floor pillows. Heavy shades will enhance the mood. Install a lock on the door. Better yet, make the room off limits to anyone under the age of thirty, or shorter than three feet. Make that four feet. And no pets, either. One suggestion, unless cost is a factor, is an actual contracted remodeling. Look in the Yellow Pages or Online under quiet rooms, in-home theater construction or meditation rooms and peruse all the offerings. There are elaborate window shades, a product called QuietRock that is, drywall fabricated specifically for sound deadening applications. There are indirect, or mood lighting resources, even lighting that enhances the amount and kind of light if you suffer from seasonal affective disorder, in addition to noise pollution. . The same affect in reducing outside noise may be achieved by hanging blankets on the walls, and that may be a novel solution for couples. The wall hangings can be an art project, or a garage sale/antique store/self-spoiling expedition.
Once you have your serenity room, you'll need to establish rituals for its use. This shouldn't be another 'should' in your life, but a soothing habit, kind of like settling into the easy chair after work with your slippers, the newspaper, and a glass of Gewurtztraminer. In other words, another ritual that reinforces the way you escape from the demands of your day, only a bit different, and a bit novel. Be the first in your neighborhood.
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