I didn’t think we’d have a Christmas tree this year.  I didn’t think we could find room for one in our small living room, this jam-packed space that serves as gathering place, art studio, library, entryway, office, toy depository, and so much more.

But when Jake heard me say so, he replied, “Yes, we will.  Of course we’ll have a Christmas tree.”  Done and done.  Simple as that.

So we rearranged.  We moved things here and there and back again.  It took an entire evening (which perhaps may have been better spent baking some birthday cupcakes).  And it meant removing some things to the basement.  But we did it.  We made room for that tree.

And all the while we were working, I was thinking about how I so often struggle to fully inhabit this space — this temporary rented apartment that I’m sometimes reluctant to call home.  And how blessed I am to have a husband who can see things from another angle — literally and figuratively.  He can help me see that the big bookshelf really would look better in that corner.  And that this place is good enough for us right now.  And that if we take some time to rearrange our home and our hearts, we can make room for things that matter.

I’m so glad that tree is up.  It’s not the real tree that I dream about having … it’s just our old artificial 3-foot tree with lights pre-strung.  But to Adeline it is pure magic.  And Bea is mesmerized by its glow.  It’s a place to put Adeline’s dancing ballerina mouse ornament that she got at The Nutcracker performance, and to hang the sparkly popsicle stick thing she made at storytime.  We can stash our growing stack of Christmas books underneath it.

It’s not the most important thing.  But I’m glad it’s here.


8 thoughts on “perspective

  1. We had this same problem every year living in our tiny NYC apartment. But the shifting and moving things around always seemed worth it in the end. Now that we actually have room for a real tree our artificial three-foot tree has become so special to us that we can’t get rid of it. So it’s going up in the boys room.

  2. on the bright side, you don’t have to vacuum up needles. like we do. every five minutes. (this is the price you pay for “Christmas tree smell,” which i insist upon having.)

  3. Hi, Sara,

    I followed you here from {inhabit}, where your comment about your bookworm tendencies resonated with me. I replied to you there on that note, and I’m glad to have made the jump over here as well, because I already feel at ease in this space.

    I love your little tree, and am so happy that you have a sweet husband with vision. I also love the rosy-cheeked little elf; I grew up with one just like him.

  4. It took us 5 years to get a tree in our house. I always said there was no room for it. Todd and I took the kids out to find a small tree, I was thinking 3-4′, well we cam home with a 7.5′ tree. Yup, that tree is huge and takes up in front of the whole front entry, which is about a 1/4 of your living room. We also live in a very small 2bedroom house and can so relate to your shuffling and re shuffling. We do love our tree though and it looks so cool when you drive past the house and see the tree out the front door window.

    Yes temporarily houses can be so hard to call home sometimes. Our house that we have not lived in for almost 5 years was suppose to house us for 6 months. Now we talk about finding something else and it almost makes me sad. Yes, our house is very small, but it has its pluses… the kids can not just go to their rooms and shut each other out, they all share a room. Our living room is out office, dining room, playroom, hang out room, as such as we would like to escape from one another sometimes we can not, but I do hope that helps teach us to live respectfully with one another.

  5. Sara, I haven’t been by in so long! While I think your topic is so good at any time of year, it seems so right to read about that during the winter holiday season. I think it can be easy to fill up ANY space in which we live. I’m always struck by how well my family does when we camp, living out of a tent/car with no qualms or feeling of “not enough.” I hope you continue to find the perspective that helps you stay happy & sane in your “right now.”

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