When we moved into our little apartment, I had visions of domestic grandeur. Everything would be perfectly organized, comfortable, and welcoming. As the months went by, and our junk corner didn’t dissapear (it’s still there, murmuring to me on my days off), I began to wonder if I’d ever be able to have people over. My standard line when asked by friends was, “When we get our couch, we’ll call you.”

Life marches on, though, and all of my best laid plans to create a hospitable home (which, in my definition, meant a place free of clutter and chaos) began to lurk at the edges, and I grew more and more convinced that we’d have to wait until we were back on our feet financially and in a larger, more ‘together’ place to start having guests.

But guests still came, Justin in January for a week, and this last weekend, my dear sister and her sweet friend. Yesterday afternoon, as my sister-in-law and her little baby napped in the spare room, and my brother snored away on our second-hand (free!) couch, surrounded by humble, averagely messy surroundings, I realised that we do have a hospitable home. I don’t need to wait for white leather dining room chairs and a perfectly matched paint-carpet-lamp shade abode. Filling our home with family last night and this weekend, realising that everyone was completely at ease, was just the picture I needed. As I put the finishing touches on my third roasted turkey of the season, I relaxed into the joy of giving what I have right now, which is a cosy house that cleans up nice, has a seat for every bum, and room for imperfect, loving people.

I’d much rather sit in my pajamas and eat cinnamon buns with friends in a second-handish, cheerfully cluttered house than a manicured mansion where everyone was afraid to sit down or sneeze.