If you are looking for those perfect Christmas gifts or Hanukkah presents for your family and friends, be careful what you choose because your gifts may have hidden meaning in Feng Shui terms. For example, when you give gifts that have sharp edges they symbolize cutting a relationship, when your gifts are empty they represent lack of financial resources, and when your gifts show time they symbolize limited life span. Here are my top six holiday gifts to avoid giving, and options for turning around any hidden messages.
1. Sharp Objects Never give knives, scissors, letter openers, or can openers as gifts since they represent cutting a relationship. If you are the recipient of any of these as a gift, hand over a coin to the giver to symbolize that you bought the object, and restore the bond between you.
2. Empty Wallet. Avoid giving an empty wallet, purse, or briefcase because it represents the lack of prosperity. Instead give a new red wallet filled with coins or a $50 bill to send the message that your gift will always be overflowing with wealth for the recipient. A red wallet attracts wealth, so give one to yourself as well.
3. Thorny Flowers and Plants. Never give cactus or other spiky plants, and avoid giving roses with the thorns still on the stems because these can pierce a relationship. If you receive roses be sure to remove the thorns to symbolize a smooth romance or relationship.
4. Stunted Trees. Bonsai trees or other miniature plants make poor choices as gifts since they represent stunted growth. Instead, choose full, healthy plants with rounded leaves to symbolize prosperity and long life.
5. Clocks and Timepieces. Gifts that show time symbolize a limited life span or stealing time from others. But because watches are often found on holiday wish lists, the modern Feng Shui application is to give a gift certificate and a picture of a watch so recipients can choose their own timepiece.
6. Handkerchiefs. It is best to avoid giving handkerchiefs because they symbolize wiping away tears and could suggest that you expect the recipient to be doing a lot of crying in the future. But since collecting antique handkerchiefs has become a trend, if you do give one, wrap it around a bar of fragrant soap or an orange and tie it with a red ribbon to balance any negative connotations.
I am often asked how Feng Shui principles view re-gifting. Re-gifting is definitely Feng Shui-friendly because it removes things you don't want from your home and sends them to a place where they are welcome. Just be sure to avoid re-gifting if you have negative feelings about the gift or its original giver, since you might be passing along your negative thoughts to the next recipient.
Try this Feng Shui re-gifting tip for your office or group holiday party -- hold a "re-gifting" raffle.
Each raffle participant contributes one item she already has in her closet. It can be anything you no longer need, or like, or want. Examples include the beautiful scarf that is the wrong color, the earrings that don't match a thing you own, or a set of coffee mugs that doesn't have a place in your kitchen. No "white elephants" gifts are allowed, only gently used items in great condition. Display the gifts on a table and place a small basket or box in front of each gift so participants can deposit their raffle tickets near the gift they would like to win. Your group gets to donate the proceeds from ticket sales to your favorite charity, and participants get a chance to win some unusual gifts.
In Feng Shui, when you put your purse on the floor it represents disregard for your wealth. Keep your purse off the floor with an attractive purse hanger. It keeps your purse clean and safe, and makes a great hostess gift or stocking stuffer. Click here to order purse hangers to give to everyone on your gift list.
Join me on Facebook where I post tips, advice, links, and answers to your Feng Shui questions. Click here to "like" the "Feng Shui For Real Life Page."