Today I opened the boxes. The ones I packed over a year ago, when this new home seemed like an impossible dream. We faced one obstacle after another when we realized we had outgrown our small but well loved little house. While I have worked hard for the last eleven months to make this new house feel like home. Yet, there is something about unpacking our Willow Tree Nativity, the snowflake ornaments from my sister’s wedding and hanging my handmade wreath that makes this place feel new to us again.

Christmas provides a milestone of sorts, a time to reflect on how far we’ve come and how very lucky we are to be here. Sometimes I miss our old house, with it’s gas fireplace and round rug where we sat and opened presents on our daughter’s first Christmas. Listening to our favorite Christmas CD’s curled up in front of the fire. But it’s the memories I miss more than the place itself. Where we live now, this beautiful, amazing, sometimes frustrating dream that has has become reality usually feels like home. But we’ve never celebrated Christmas here.

Today I hung stockings from an actual brick fireplace and lined the mantle with holly and fir boughs I cut from trees in the backyard. I decorated the deep sill of our bow window and tried to figure out how to plug in all the lights when half the outlets in the living room don’t work. A room that I have piece by piece made into my own underwent yet another transformation and yet still felt entirely familiar. This is home now too. I think of the sweet young family who are celebrating their first Christmas in our old house as we settle into ours and it feels exactly as it should be.