I recently had hired a babysitter who babysits for several of my friends. As I was showing her around the first time she came into my home, she said, “You know, most of the people I babysit for have Pinterest-perfect houses where everything is decorated and perfect. But your house is refreshing… it’s nothing like that at all.” I thought, ‘Uh, am I supposed to take that as a compliment?’ I mean, I know I have moving boxes in my room in place of nightstands, two un-decorated toddler bedrooms, and furniture from goodwill and craigslist, but come on!
As the holidays have approached, I sat down and got several parties I’ve been looking forward to planning all year on the calendar. But as these events have gotten closer to actually happening, I sensed some anxiety rising when I thought about my home; the place I would be hosting the very special people in my life I call friends and family. I thought about how many of their homes are technically nicer than mine. More decorated than mine. Probably cleaner than mine. And this realization made me feel insecure. Let’s be honest, in reality I wanted to spend countless hours on Pinterest, hit up Hobby Lobby and Z Gallerie, and buy ALL THE THINGS that would make my home as perfect as can be for these parties.
You know, I might have actually done it, if not for fear of my husband divorcing me after seeing the credit card bill.
Then I look around my home… and realize, this place tells an amazing story. I think about the chaise lounge I found on Craigslist for super cheap because a family just got tired of it. I see the hand-me-down dining table, with dings and scratches from my kids using it as a drumset, and dried paint from craft projects and countless hours of fun. Or I look at our TV – that thing is so old that the sound sometimes cuts in and out, but it just adds to its character and charm. Or the large mirror my sister gave me hanging in our hallway that reminds me of her every time I see it. So many pieces I scoured for on the internet, or found on sale at a store, or on the side of the road (don’t judge… you know finding free stuff on the side of the road is basically like finding cash money).
So you know what, while many of my friends and family may have more put-together homes, you want to know something I’ve discovered? I am a dang-good host. I know how to make people feel welcome, at home, and leaving well fed when they come into my home. I love connecting and listening. I love cooking, serving, and savoring each moment my guests are around my table.
This is my encouragement to you – don’t worry about how ‘picture-perfect’ your home is. Because there are thousands of picture-perfect homes that aren’t filled with laughter, clanging dishes, Christmas music, loud games, and all the other beautiful sounds that come with hosting parties. Maybe hosting isn’t your gig? That’s ok too! Then help out your friends who find joy in holding parties in their home…and extend grace when things aren’t perfect or completely in order.
The whole reason the holidays are so magical is because it’s a time of year where we take special time and spend it with those we LOVE. Will you join me in finding some relief in our imperfection? Knowing that the greatest environment we can create for our friends and family, is the one we create with our smile, our love, and our hearts.