The Great Idea



Since the holiday season isn’t quite crazy enough, my husband and I had a great idea: we bought a new house.

I know. First World Problems.

A new house may sound awesome, and it is. Closing on a new house two days before Thanksgiving, when the house you currently live in hasn’t sold, is not so awesome. Dare I say, it’s insane?

We found our dream house. It is about half the size of the one we live in now, which means there’s room for only half the stuff. Getting rid of a bunch of stuff we never use, moving into a right-sized house, this is good stress – I want to be clear about that.

Selling a house in the winter, during the “most wonderful time of the year,” however, is definitely not good stress.

Every day, before we leave for work, we go through the ritual of cleaning every inch of the house to be ready for “lookers.” It is exhausting. We are spending less time at home, mainly to avoid having to clean up after ourselves. We load our three dogs into the truck and drive around while strangers walk through our sterilized home.

Upon returning, we engage in our other new ritual: purging. In order to move into our new, right-sized home, we have to right-size our stuff. It should be easy. We have plenty of things we don’t use – like our treadmill.

There are other things we don’t use that I didn’t even know we had.

I discovered 14 boxes of hot cocoa mix, while sorting through my kitchen. Those 14 boxes were not stored in the same cabinet – that would be too easy. I, apparently, not only thought that hot chocolate sounded wonderful on 14 separate trips to the grocery store, but I found 14 different perfect places to put each box when I unpacked my groceries.

I have a solid 26 jars of red Christmas cookie sprinkles. Good thing I also have dozens of Christmas-themed plastic containers that I apparently forget I’ve stashed away every single year.

I have enough supplies to cover my holiday baking for the next 30 years. But, I won’t be baking this year – I’ll be too busy packing all of this stuff I didn’t know I had. If you see a non-perishable food donation box over the next few weeks, filled with hot cocoa mix and red sprinkles, you’ll know that I was there.

The good part about my ridiculous idea to buy a new house over the holiday season is that I am reminded, again, what this time of year is really about.

I do not need any more stuff, certainly not hot cocoa or sprinkles. I have everything I need. You see, when we told friends about our plans, they offered to help us move. They are supporting us through the agony of trying to sell a house during the real estate industry’s slowest months.

So, maybe my great idea will feel more like an epic failure for the next month; but I have people who love me in spite of myself.

To quote a holiday classic film that I won’t have time to watch this year, “Dear George – remember, no man is a failure who has friends.”

Happy Holidays to you and yours! May you be blessed with less stuff and more love.



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