Tomorrow night I am having a Christmas party, for my adult students, at my house for the first time ever. I’ve not had company in years, for various reasons… mostly centering around my inability to keep a clean house, or get rid of clutter, or find time and energy to do anything but the bare minimums. But this year is different. Moving last spring was a great time to get rid of a lot of stuff. Admittedly, I still have a large pile of boxes I am storing for my kids. And I still haven’t unpacked my room. And what books are not in boxes are piled on shelves. And let’s face it, I have a high tolerance for messes and keeping house does not come naturally easy to me. My house is not, and will never be a showpiece. Here’s the cool thing – I don’t care. I grew up in a house that looked like nobody lived in it. The place was immaculate, uncluttered, and absolutely dead. We never had company either. I don’t know who my mom cleaned for, but life did not happen in those rooms.
This past year my entire life has changed. As I evaluate the past and head into a very different future from the one I thought I had, I’ve thought a lot about what is important and what I want in life. I want life. I want joy. I want to be with people I enjoy. I want a homey home, where my kids and their friends and my friends are always welcome. I want a home that is lived in and comfortable. If my friends see the pile of boxes, so what? I am taking care of my kids’ stuff. If I have old furniture, so what? I am not living beyond my means. If they glance in my bedroom (gasp) and see the piles of stuff that I have not yet unpacked or put away after 8 or 9 months, well, we will all get over it (but really, it would be better if they didn’t look there). And if they look in my refrigerator and it’s not clean, or they notice that I didn’t get around to mopping, I hope they will overlook it. Because I don’t want to wait for it all be perfect. It’s not going to ever be that way, and really, so many other things are more important.
So I am kind of excited about tomorrow night, not because I have a wonderful house to show off, or a wonderful menu to serve, but because I look forward to hanging out in my home with a few of my friends. And I plan to do it more often, even while I am crazy busy in grad school working three jobs struggling to get by.
This is my home, and we live here, and I am glad to see you. Welcome, and Merry Christmas!
©Rebecca Anne Huffman Givens, 12/13/15