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Around the home

Home for the holidays

manuelita otero


December is such an exciting month, an opportunity to celebrate this beautiful season with family and friends. It’s the perfect moment to spend time with loved ones, to share memories, and to get ready for an amazing new year. December is a fun month, but it can also be very stressful. If you have friends or family staying over for the holidays you may already be thinking about all the cleaning, organizing, and logistical challenges you are going to have to face, not to mention the additional cooking, the Christmas shopping, the decorations, the events that you will have to attend and all the other things we do during this time.

What if this year we let go of all the perfect standards we have created? The beautiful decorations, the amazing food which  is all wonderful and all, but many times comes at a cost. Something’s gotta give, and it’s usually you. It may cost you sleep, time, and money, which may make you wish you didn’t have to invite all “these” people to your house and go through so much “trouble”, which ends up being the complete opposite of what the season is about and what you really want. Think about it… Does it take fancy dinners and intricate decorations to make beautiful memories with loved ones? Who decides the tone of your gatherings? You do! You are the one and only who can tell all your guests the “rules of the house” so why not make get togethers in your home relaxed ones?

For Thanksgiving we got together in our home. It was my first turkey from “scratch” and I was very excited, but I was also a little nervous because what if it didn’t turn out good, what would we eat? I didn’t want to have that pressure; I wanted to enjoy the experience and be able to laugh about it if the result was not the expected one. Like many times in life, the solution was closer than I imagined. My aunt decided to bring ham, so if the turkey was uneatable then we would not be hungry. My children and I decided ahead of time that it was going to be a very relaxing dinner. We focused on the opportunity to express our gratitude and the opportunity to share a meal with friends and family. Since I was going to be busy that morning each of my children was in charge of a dish and a dessert and they did an excellent job. I loved our dinner, it was not only delicious, but I got to really enjoy it because I wasn’t worried about it being perfect. And if you are wondering, my turkey was amazing- just not very photogenic.  

Maybe you have a lot of people coming over during this holiday season or maybe it’s just you, or maybe you have been thinking about opening your home to your friends or coworkers but you are not too sure if the experience may be overwhelming. Whatever you decide to do and as many people as you decide to invite, the most important thing is to enjoy it! Remember what is all about and don’t let things distract you from the main purpose. Open your home, invite friends and make memories. To be a community, to listen to each other and to make others feel welcomed is more important than flawless meals or picture perfect table settings, because what really matters is how we share our love.

Manuelita @manuelitaotero