House For Six

When December Isn't Going The Way You Planned

Deme Crinion7 Comments
Can I make a confession?  I started to lose my gratitude last week. 

My biggest fear in buying a home across the country after only seeing it once, is that we would open the door with new keys and look at each other like, "this is so not what we for your lives!". 

That didn't happen.  In fact, the layout of the house, the neighborhood, the school, the was all even better than we remembered.  Whew.

HOWEVER, as we started to wipe down the cabinets and counter tops so we could unpack, it became clear that the place was downright filthy.  Toilets, floors, every dust collecting surface had not been cleaned in a loooong time.  To the point we didn't feel comfortable moving in the kids until some serious scrubbage had occurred.

Instead of unpacking and getting us settled, I was cleaning.  Now I don't mind cleaning, but cleaning someone else's gross in a place that's supposed to be yours makes it really tough to feel at home. 

After days of cleaning, we were all struck down with an awful head cold.  Envision all 5 of us camped out on air mattresses/cots/sleeping bags in the master bedroom, hacking away a chorus together.  Because it's much easier to address a sick child when they are 2 ft away instead of dragging your own sick body down the hall multiple times a night.
When you move to a city without knowing a single person, the quickest way to feel settled is to make your new home feel like a familiar place.  Set up your furniture.  Unpack.  Set up or hang a few of your favorite things.  Make home.

As much as we love this house (catch the full tour of it here), it was not feeling at all like home.  The boys room was still painted purple, Mia's was green, and my office was yellow with cute little flower and mushroom wall decals.  

Then there's the fact that it's December.  Hello, Christmas! Advent!  Decking The Halls!  I was scrubbing my halls instead of decking them, and that hurt. 

Starting to sound a little "Woe is me", no?  Did I so quickly forget how we traveled safely through terrible winter storms to get here (even though it took us 2 extra days)?  Did I forget how perfectly the timing worked out for the sale/closing on both homes (even though there was a significant amount of scrambling and stress involved to make it happen)?  Did I forget the fact that we even had a place to call and make our own (even though it required more work than we thought)? 

Clearly I had...and clearly I liked my blessings wrapped up in perfect, easy packages, thank you very much.

If you're a blogger, you're probably also a blog reader. And when you see fellow DIY/home bloggers sharing all their Christmas pretties it can be so easy to fall onto the "I need to get on that!" train.  On top of the aforementioned self-pity party, I had that self-imposed blogger pressure following me like a dark cloud.  But creating a pin-worthy holiday home is not our life.  Not this season.

And that is a blessing...because the truth of Christmas did not involve glitter, or ribbons, or LED lights.  It was cold, and stinky (have you been in a barn?), and lit only by the stars of a dark, holy night. It was stillness and awe.  It was love come down.  It was the greatest gift the world has ever know.  Did I forget?  

Advent is the season of preparing....preparing to receive the gift of Christmas.  And we will likely be preparing right up to the day.  It's ok to take the whole season to prepare.  There's no timeline to get your tree and your home all spruced up.  You don't have to spruce up at all.  If you've just moved or are just in a place of life-crazy, don't even sweat a single snowflake over doing anything. 

How are you preparing your heart for Christmas (and your family's)?  Decorating our homes for the holidays can absolutely help us do that, but it's not necessary.   Our Christmas will be much more stripped down than years past, and that too is a blessing.  Sometimes it's harder to be still and allow your heart to be filled with awe when you're distracted by a list of holiday to-do's.  

I'm letting myself off the hook for coming up with something new and creative for Christmas decor.  Pulling our familiar things out of the boxes will be better than anything new this year.  I know we won't get everything up, so we'll just be more thoughtful about the few things we do pull out!

How is your December coming along?  Are you all ready for Christmas or just getting started?  What traditions do you have they help you stay focused on the meaning of Christmas and less on the tinsel?

Thanks so much for reading! We would love to keep in touch!