It's the time of year when the house is decked out in all the twinkling glory of the holidays. Usually. This year - not so much. And it's weird. Very, very weird.
My husband is a fan of Christmas trees. His venture out to acquire the perfect pine specimen is a solo ritual that he looks forward to every year. Inevitably, he returns with a tree that is at least a third bigger than is practical and it is my job to make his tree of choice into a sparkly centerpiece of the house for the season. It's a fair division of responsibilities and the outcome is always a heavenly beast of a tree. But not this year.
There is no tree this year. The mantle stands sans Christmas tidings. No stockings. No merry Santas. No fluffy snowmen. And the rooms are becoming more bare by the day. I am of two minds about this situation. On one hand, I miss the lighted cheer that is not littered throughout the house. I'm a little sad that our youngest pup has not yet experienced having a Christmas tree in her life. This would have been her first Christmas tree experience. On the other hand, I'm increasingly excited about the progress we're making. It feels more and more like the move is imminent and I'm ready. Don't get me wrong, we still have an enormous amount to do. But as our belongings fade from their proper place, the reality of our decision settles in. And it feels really good.
As I wander through pictures of previous Christmases, I am both overwhelmed with nostalgia and hopeful for the future. It is likely we will no longer will we have a home filled with family during the festive season. At least, not for the foreseeable future. We are relinquishing most of our accumulated Christmas decor. It may be a while before our Old Pup resumes his winter position beneath Husband's annual behemoth. We are reminded again of the things we are leaving behind for the adventure that lay ahead.
I enjoy imagining what the holiday season may look like in the years ahead. It may not look the same or always feel the same, but the spirit of the season is not something that will be left behind.
We have settled on Maui as our back up plan to TCI and reached out to a few real estate agents. By the end of next week we should be ready to put the house on the market. Time seems to be at a standstill, but there is a feeling that we are on the verge of moving forward at light speed. It may not be the move we originally imagined, but it feels like the first step to achieving the life of the expat that is the ultimate goal.