We’d planned on spending this holiday season in our newly remodeled lake home. The kids would be home from college and it would be our first time celebrating a holiday together since we sold our house last fall.
I envisioned the flames dancing in our beautiful new gas stove and the Christmas tree twinkling in the alcove. It would be different than in years past, but exciting too. We would bake cookies in our new oven and drink a glass of wine at our new dining room table while looking at the lake.
I wanted to enjoy a wonderful Christmas in our new home.
But that isn’t going to happen. Scaling up our renovation set our project timeline back about six weeks. Instead of gazing at our Christmas lights, we’re staring at piles of boxes. We’re living in a small rental cottage and most of our belongings are still in storage– including all of our Christmas stuff.
We could have dug through the storage unit to find the Christmas decorations or purchased something new to show our holiday spirit. But we didn’t. And you know what – we’re all going to be just fine.
Because we really don’t need anything this Christmas.
We have a roof over our heads and plenty of food in the refrigerator. We may be pulling clothes out of suitcases, but we have plenty to choose from. We didn’t use fancy wrapping on our presents this year, but we’ll still exchange them. And we’ll leave the cold and snow behind tomorrow, when we get on a plane to go see family.
Instead of focusing on what we’re missing out on, we’re appreciating what we have and what we get to do.
And I was reminded of that as I drove through town today. Cars were backed up, but it wasn’t because people were finishing up their Christmas shopping. They were leaving church after the funeral service of a recent graduate of our schools. He died in a car accident this week – one day before coming home from college for the holidays. I didn’t know him well, but his Mom is a teacher and his grandmother was a colleague of mine for years.
I’m sure his family wanted a very different Christmas too.
As you go about your holiday festivities, cherish what you have and don’t take those around you for granted. Remember that we all celebrate the holidays in different ways. And sadly, some won’t be celebrating at all this year. Try not to measure the success of your holidays by comparing your life to your social media feeds. A smarter decision is to focus on what you have and remember that it isn’t a competition.
It’s hard to believe that it’s New Year’s Eve in just over a week. I’ll be back writing more consistently as things settle down after our move. I have a lot to share, but I’m putting “first things first” right now. I appreciate you following our journey.
Have a wonderful and safe holiday season!
Image Credit: Rafal Pietrzak @freeimages.com