Four Lessons about Home Life

Four Lessons about Home Life

This is an unusual Christmas season. We are all retreating to our home base this year. I miss all the outside happenings - the parties, the shows, the dinners and friends.

This year, it is only us. But what a gift it is. This is an opportunity to lean into homemaking for the holidays, which will provide rewards and pleasures we don't typically get to receive in normal years.

It feels indulgent. To help seize this moment, we've compiled four reflections that will help in making time at Home the best. 

Home provides a respite. Not that the virus isn’t still around, but at least Home is a place you can clean, you can say who comes in, you can make smell nice, bake cookies, bake some bread, iron, arrange some flowers and watch long movies with those you care about. Home is a safe place. Everything is OK at Home. It’s OK to take the day off to watch TV, it’s OK to wear your PJ’s for lunchtime, it’s OK to eat a brownie for breakfast, it’s just fine to do whatever you want, because it is your place.

Home is your creation. Home contains thousands of items, each was  a choice to live with. The quality, comfort, and pleasure that your home affords is sum of those choices. From what linens you put on the bed right down the kind of toilet paper you use, everything matters and contributes to our own unique version of what a happy home is meant to be. It's the ultimate creative act, I think. This might be a good time do some tossing, organizing, and rearranging so that your surroundings reflect your best vision of home.

Home can enrich the family. Without all the distractions this year, there is extra opportunity to focus on the family. Not just in the usual way, but going a little deeper. Doing the things together that maybe in year's past seemed too time consuming. Like helping my son to organize his closet, cooking together, or watching that one movie that's been on the bucket list. It doesn't really matter what the thing is, as long as it is together.

Home's daily rituals are therapeutic. As much as daily and weekly chores might seem like a drag, they are also therapeutic. Like clockwork, the laundry, making the bed, and meal prep are a way to mark the days and pass the time in a good way. The repetition of these tasks and the labor involved ensures a good day's work, an engagement with home, a commitment to the family, and to grace. Daily chore rituals, which mostly an independent task, don't have to be. You can involve children and family,  making them a group activity, especially during the holidays. More the merrier as the saying goes!

No matter what and how you celebrate the holidays, this year is an extra opportunity to embrace Home for what it has always been – a place for nurturing and renewal.

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Breur's Hooper House, Baltimore, Maryland

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