The holiday season is upon us, and it’s a moment when I stop to think about the way that the empty nest has changed our daily living here.
I think that many of you will know about the empty nest. That dull feeling in the pit of your stomach as your ‘little ones’ fly away to find their own paths and build their own lives. But after the initial shock, comes a new era: a reassessment of the daily routine; reappropriating of space in the house, and little by little, if we’re lucky, we rediscover the pleasures of living as a couple again, with time for each other, and the energy to embark on new adventures.
And then the Holiday season comes around, and suddenly that empty nest gets busy again, and it is a flurry of meals, and champagne, and laughter and gifts, and then more meals, a lot more.
I revel in these moments. The fun of laying the table for the whole family plus friends, the kitchen buzzing, the fridge filled with desserts, and the dogs trotting happily from one room to the next with the sure expectation of being petted by someone.
Decorating for the Holidays is a joyous blend of making the house look pretty, indulging in a new trend or two, and making everything as welcoming as possible… with a healthy dose of nostalgia thrown into the mix.
I try to make the decor a little different each year, but can’t help but smile when I hear the ‘kids’ recognize the tree ornaments they have known since they were little.
And even before the house fills up with family, and once the house is decorated, I love to invite friends over for dinner. Everyone is happy to find the house looking festive, and we enjoy slipping into Holiday mode together.
And across a boisterous table, now and again I catch the eye of my husband and we both smile a smile that means ‘this is wonderful, we’re loving every minute …. but the calm that will redescend after the storm will also be nice”