Dave and I have been joking that we don't really need gifts for the holidays this year, since we bought a new house back in September. It's beautiful, the kind of old-fashioned New England home I think I used to dream about, white with dark shutters (siding, but whatever), a gorgeous sweeping staircase, stained glass windows.
But, because we have two small kids, we are still unpacking. And we will be unpacking for a while. There are unopened boxes behind the Christmas tree, packing paper and bubble wrap next to the menorahs. I still try to turn on light switches that aren't there. There's a small leak in the roof on the third floor (but there's a third floor. Which is amazing). We'd been living in an 1100 square foot condo for eight years, so the space is huge, and a huge blessing.
Still, the holidays are hard. My daughter, who is not so spoiled, started at a new school in the fall, and has trouble unwinding from her long day of preK. (I know. It's preK. Sigh). She is a rule follower and people pleaser just like I was, so by the time it's 5pm, and she's home, she's hungry, tired, and just can't even...with me, or her little brother. Last night she screamed and scratched and we canceled Hanukkah presents. It was awful. Meanwhile the baby was teething, hungry, and tired, too, only he can't talk much yet, so he whimpers and clings like a baby chimp. Cute, but tricky. When my husband got home, I needed to give *myself* a time out. I left our lovely house and took deep breaths in the car, in the passenger side, because it's exhausting always being in the driver's seat.
Our home is bright and cheery and amazing, but it's roiling on the inside, but then again, everyone's is. Which is maybe the greatest comfort around this time of year.