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This past year has not been our most comfortable or the easiest to get through. After 18 months of unemployment, then 7 months of living separately due to job locations, Clif and I moved our family into his parents' house. That was 11 months ago.
It has been 11 months of living out of boxes. Eleven months of missing items that are probably in the back of our storage room. Eleven months of sleeping on someone else's bed, eating with someone else's silverware, showering in someone else's bathroom.
It's not been easy for us or his parents. It's hard to call it home, because it's not really. We know it's temporary, but just not sure how temporary. It's this weird little space of limbo. Limbo is hard and awkward and stressful...for me at least.
So as the holidays approached, I wondered how we'd keep our own family traditions in place. Would we be able to eat chili for Christmas Eve dinner? Could we put up our own tree with our own ornaments? Would we find our stockings among our unpacked boxes? Would we go on our own tacky light tour in our Christmas jammies?
I knew that some of it would have to change. We're living with someone else and spending the holidays with them. Some of our traditions would have to be put aside for theirs.
But a couple of weeks ago, we did put up our own tree. And even though it's in the basement of a house that's not mine, that's filled with furniture and framed pictures that aren't mine, we continued one of our own traditions.
We told stories about each ornament.
We munched on beer bread with homemade jam and sipped our special hot chocolate.
We stood back as Ainsley saturated only a few branches with as many ornaments as they could bear.
We watched Freddie awe at the lights.
And for the afternoon, surrounded by my husband and kids, doing what we do every Christmas, it was comfortable and cozy and our basement really did feel like home. Now, if only I could find our stockings...
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