Typically getting in the Holiday spirit for me involves a few key things:
1. The Christmas tree hunt– This is by far the most important tradition, and was practically law in our family growing up. We have never set foot on a Christmas tree lot or tree farm in all of my existence, well there was the year my mom came home with a tree from a lot, we were stunned and confused. Anyway… we like to forget about that year. The weekend after Thanksgiving we get a $5 permit and head to the forest to find an inevitably homely looking tree with tons of natural charm. This year was no different except the tree was about 1/4 the size. Adam even felt the need to yell “timber” as he sawed down the little Doug Fir using a plastic butter knife or something with similar strength.
2. Collecting insane amounts of evergreens, sticks, pinecones, red berries and other natural flora to make wreaths out of, or simply drape on any open surface that can use a little Christmas cheer. This had to be toned down quite a bit this year due to size restrictions and lack of surface area but was still possible.
3.Making and decorating sugar cookies –This one was not achievable in the tiny house, in-fact sometimes it barely feels possible in a regular sized kitchen; the rolling, cutting, baking, frosting assembly line moved to my sister’s house this year.
4.Giving>Getting – This may sound cliché but nothing makes the sentiment “it is better to give than to receive” more true than living in a tiny house! Each year we like to do something for people we don’t know. Usually we take cards and Christmas cookies to homeless people. This year we tried something new. We “adopted” a family through a local charity and based on the information given about their situation and needs we bought items for the family. The idea was to focus less on buying and receiving gifts among our families and instead help out a family who really needed it.
I want to prepare you for what you are about to see…if like me, you imagined living in a tiny house as an opportunity for a simple, minimal lifestyle where everything has its place, then you are right, but that Feng Shui can be thrown out of whack REAL FAST. Let me reveal a glimpse into the reality of living in a tiny house, or at least my occasional reality. You see, everything may have its place but what happens when you have 15 Holiday packages to create for instance?
I usually just laugh and send a picture of the chaos to my co-workers. Doing any kind of project is tricky, and for my job I often have them. When I have tasks for work like organizing 30 pairs of demo running shoes I do it at a friend’s house. This hasn’t been a problem necessarily, just a change, a slight inconvenience. The silver lining is spending more time with friends!
Christmas was different this year, not just because we had a smaller tree or less presents for each other, but because we woke up Christmas morning on the North Shore of Oahu and the day before Adam had no clue we were headed there! We had to cancel a two-week vacation we had booked to Peru when Adam took the job with Portland, we paid a change fee to the airline and had to use the vouchers before February. He had 4 days off at Christmas and we decided to use them for a mini-vacation. Two weeks before I saw that flights to Hawaii had dropped in price and I asked Adam if he was ok with me surprising him with a location, he is always up for these kind of shenanigans! I packed our bags and kept it quiet. He didn’t find out until I met him in the car wearing a snorkel as we headed to the airport on Christmas Eve. Though it didn’t feel like a typical Christmas, eating at a food truck for Christmas dinner and basking in the sun turned out to be a special way to celebrate without the distraction of presents and production of a big dinner. We missed our family but it was just what we needed.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! 2015 is full of possibility and we hope good things come to you whatever they may be!!!!