Honest Holidays


Nothing is working like I thought it would.

It seems I created wonderful, meaningful ideas for my kids to do just as they have found a million more fun things to do somewhere that is mostly not here. (See virtual advent on Instagram.)

Our tiny house is feeling TINY. We are very close to our stuff out weighing the places we have to put it. Counters, tables, floors are full of things we must need but, seriously, do we really?

Our tree is only half decorated and we never got around to putting up the Dicken’s Village (expect for five little villagers and the sign which makes our super cool record player look like a three year old decorated it).

What I should have put in the advent calendar is empty the dishwasher, put your headphones somewhere you can find them, move the clothes from the washer to the dryer. And then, I should have said we are not giving you any money or driving you anywhere until that one thing gets done today.

My inner grinch is emerging once again.

We are in the space between having children and not having children. We have teenagers and none of us knows how this works. They miss being kids, we miss them being kids and at the same time, there is all this new fun stuff about having grown-up kids.

The problem is we are still holding on to what we used to love even though so much of it has outlived its magic. We still want to pretend but pretending isn’t our thing anymore.

All this time, I have wanted my kids to experince ways they could give, share, participate in their world and they are actually doing that now. It doesn’t look like I thought it would, so it’s easy to miss.

They are not finding the supreme satisfaction of identifying a bird but they are really excited about our friends coming over this weekend.

They aren’t so excited about their big Santa surprise, but they are thrilled to find a way to help in Alleppo. (

My kids have become people that I get to do life with instead of people I am entertaining.

I would like to say I’ve learned some things from this year, like what I will and will not bother doing next Christmas. But the truth is, the only thing I have really learned is that I can’t figure this out. I can only show up, give what I have and let it be what it will be…or not.

There is a lot that I love about our life and I am thankful for this space and time but I also feel the need to make known that small+simple does not equal easy. Everything doesn’t have it’s place and everyone doesn’t always have what they need.

Life is messy. Our house is messy. The holidays are hectic. I am counting down the days until they are over.

Wait…I just realized what I’ve learned from this year. The one thing that will never have a place in our house is perfection.

And that is what makes this a home a place we can all enjoy this holiday.