Living in a place where Christmas is simply not celebrated, the holiday season sort of snuck up on me this year because we have no decorations or carols in the malls and public spaces here. For the first time ever, I decided to put up a tree because it is the thing to do rather than because I really felt moved by the spirit of the season. Today was the day when I finally got a chance today to decorate, and I have to say I was surprised by how much the act of decorating put me in the holiday spirit, and by the effect it had on my overall feelings about home.
Not only did the act of putting up some decorations jumpstart my holiday cheer, it also inspired me to really focus on making our current house a home rather than just the place my husband and I are occupying while in Saudi. Though I still don't have access to my household goods, my husband's shipment did contain some rugs and art that have been living in the back bedroom waiting for a final decision on where to place them. Today I decided that I didn't want to host a community Christmas in a house with bare walls and floors, and so I followed up my tree decorating with a marathon session of furniture moving, carpet laying, and picture hanging.
It probably sounds like a strange admission for a design blogger, but I had lost track of how much my state of mind is influenced by my home. Though I arrived here in July and moved into this house in September, I can honestly say that today was the first day this place really felt like a home. Adding just the few personal belongings that we have right now has given this house a feeling of permanence- — even though we know we will only be here for two years. I am delighted to finally feel at home here, and am grateful that what started as a chore this morning has paid such wonderful dividends.
I would love to hear from others, especially those who move regularly, about what make a new place finally feel like home. Have you ever taken stock of the moment when you make that mental transition? I am happy to be heading into a new year finally feeling settled, but would love to know that I'm not alone in making such a lengthy transition!