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In a small space, there’s plenty of room for the magic of Christmas

Lacking nothing this season

Something about the change in the weather has me spending time in that space between memories and future plans. I think I do my mental spring-cleaning in the fall, when I make sure that I am ready to rest with myself all winter long. And so I’ve been diving deep these last few days as I lie in bed with the worst sore throat known to man, a forced slow down while everything else carries on.

I’ve been thinking about intention and purpose and where I’ve failed and won with both. The kids asked for a big Christmas tree this year. My inner Scrooge almost said no but thankfully asked why instead. They reminded me that this is our first year back in a big house and I almost say that 800 square feet is still small, but I stop myself. Because living for six years in 400 square feet changes you. I ask myself if my focus is on what we lack, because I admit, it can spend some time there.

Not enough room or not enough time or not enough money. “Lack” has a way of sneaking its way into places it’s not welcome. Like the excitement the kids have over having a full size Christmas tree after years of tiny trees that didn’t fit all of their favorite ornaments.

I’m always surprised how many times I have to learn the same lesson.

I think that sometime less feels like loss and I fought that off and on all of those years in the little house. And what do you know? It followed me here. But it didn’t follow the kids, and I needed their reminder.

We have more, we have double the space! We are practically living in a mansion, mom! Yes, we do indeed have room for a bigger tree. We have room for more. Thankfully, I haven’t forgotten that memories and moments take up little room, but wow, their impact is long lasting.

I renewed our subscription to Apple Music yesterday because we love to live it up from November through January and listen to nonstop Christmas music and any new album we want to enjoy. It’s our fourth year of this tradition and we settle for Pandora and her commercial breaks the rest of the year. But this is special, and we take notice. Soon, we will pick a winter series to watch on the small TV that we don’t fit as well around as we used to. I hope making room for each other in a space that’s too small around a TV that’s too small doesn’t lose out to personal space and individuals and earbuds anytime soon. I think I will fight for that.

This year, the kids would like to forgo (most) presents and save for an adventure as a family, along with other no-spend weeks throughout the coming year. I hear this and I know that all of the hard and lovely years left a mark on them too. It’s a fine balance between less as “lack” and less as more and I imagine it will be an ever-changing process. In the meantime, I’m seeing a lovely Christmas tree at least six feet tall finding a place in our living room.

Written by Rebekah Engebretson


Rebekah lives in a little house on the prairie with her husband and 4 daughters near Watford City. She is a huge North Dakota fan and loves people and taking pictures and personality tests.

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