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Christmas Makes the House a Home

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Posted 04-19-2012 at 12:54 AM by Jeff Westover

We're moving.

After 13 years in the same place we're officially in the hunt for a new residence.

We came here when my sixth child, Madelyn, was just a week old. Our seventh, Emma, was born here and has known no other home.

If these walls could speak they would have stories to tell: like the Christmas we got Sam, our now ten year old border colllie. I had to bring him to my parents house on Christmas Eve morning for safe keeping and then I had to stay up with his whiny little puppy butt half the night to keep the kids from discovering him too early.

He's still as big a baby as ever.

And he has never known another home.

But things have changed for us and we're in need of relocating. It will be a local move and it introduces us to a new stage in our lives. Three of my adult children, due to their uncoordinated young adult activities, are all leaving the nest at one time. A mass migration.

That will leave just four girls at home -- between the ages of 10 and 16. And we're trying to find a place that fits the new dynamics.

Like most things we're making this a family affair. And like most things there are a great many details to sweat.

Here it is well past tax day and our Christmas tree is still up. It was a running joke for a while but it has been a bright spot in our home over a dismal time and it is kind of symbolic of our hope for better days to come this year.

And not so oddly enough the old Christmas tree is the measuring stick of what will make the new house a home for us.

We saw a place last weekend and the first 20 minutes of discussion centered on where the tree was going to go.

With us was one of my "adult" children (an oxymoron is more ways than one) and even she carried it to an extreme.

"This house won't work, Daddy" she said. "There's no way all of us can sleep in the basement on Christmas Eve in this house. And where would we hang the Santa map?"

Where indeed.

I'm suffering from a full blown midlife crisis here with all this change and my babies leaving me like yesterday's lunch.

But Christmas means, at least so far, they aren't really leaving at all. At least not for the real important times.

Stay tuned. We may soon have a picture of the old tree in the new house to showcase. When we finally move I don't think we're actually going to take the tree down this year. It has survived so well so far. It would be a shame to until the smell of roasting turkey makes us bring it back.

The tree and Christmas itself will turn the new place into the home we're looking for.

I just know it.
Total Comments 4


  1. Old Comment
    merrymistletoe's Avatar
    jeff best wishes for you & your family during this change, both physically & mentally. prayers to all of you!
    Posted 04-19-2012 at 04:17 AM by merrymistletoe merrymistletoe is offline
  2. Old Comment
    sugar142286's Avatar
    Good luck with house hunting and the move, Jeff. You're very right, Christmas and holidays do make a home. I am sure it's so hard on you to have your kids leaving the nest. Mine are only 2 1/2 and 9 months and it's hard for me to be away from them, just when I am at work. Sounds like you've been a wonderful dad and they will do great on their own, but they'll be back!
    Posted 04-19-2012 at 12:20 PM by sugar142286 sugar142286 is online now
  3. Old Comment
    made582's Avatar
    Good Luck with the move Jeff!!!!!
    Posted 04-19-2012 at 04:11 PM by made582 made582 is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Bradmac's Avatar
    Best wishes to you and your family, my friend. I remember how tough it was to leave our first house and all the memories surrounding it.

    But, as you pointed out, Christmas will make it all better. Just wait and see!
    Posted 04-20-2012 at 06:35 AM by Bradmac Bradmac is offline
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