It’s almost Christmas! This will be my first Christmas in my Tiny House. I was planning to decorate my home with a few Christmas decorations; not too many, just enough to get that Christmas feeling. But because of work and other engagements, I never got round to doing it. And just when I had decided to try again next year, I arrived home to discover a tiny Christmas tree waiting for me. It was from my dear friend Jennifer, with a note saying “Merry Christmas”. How thoughtful of her! It had been a long day and my first reaction was: ‘I don’t want a Christmas tree in my house’. How ungrateful of me! Someone does something so sweet and I react the way I do! I contacted her to thank her and asked if I could keep the tree outside because of the limited space in my home. She replied that I could put the tree anywhere I liked. I decided to try and see if it would fit indoors. I put it inside near the door with a couple of little LED lights in, and secretly enjoyed the fact that I had a tree in my home and kept it there. I must admit that in the evenings when the lights are on I get a warm glowing feeling and am really happy with my Christmas tree! Thanks Jennifer!
Yesterday, after I gave a lecture to the students of the Landstede MBO in Hardenwijk, I received a candle holder in the shape of a little white house. My first reaction would normally be to think: ‘I don’t want more stuff’. But it was such a thoughtful gesture that I decided to take it home with me and find a perfect spot for it. After Christmas I can always give it to someone else. A minimalistic life is something I would recommend to everyone. It is a wonderful feeling knowing exactly what you own, and where it is. Most people that I know take my limited space into consideration when bringing gifts. They normally arrive with useable gifts like candles, wine, or even wood for my fire.
However, when living in a Tiny House you sometimes receive gifts that are less temporary and it is wise to think of how you want to react when that happens. If you refuse the gift, or become upset because you have so little space, you will hurt the giftbearer’s feelings. It is better to just accept the gift and be grateful that they took the time to choose a gift that they thought you would appreciate or need. You could suggest that their presence alone is a gift on its own, and that they don’t need to bring gifts every time they come to visit. But if they insist, then you could suggest gifts that don’t last, like Tony Chocoloney’s or a bottle of wine for example.
Christmas for me is not about gift giving. For me it is about taking stock of the year that has past, and about self-reflection. What has happened in the past year? What life lessons have I learned this year? What am I grateful for? What will the following year bring? What are my dreams for the year to come?
It is also about family and friends, and spending quality time with them. I know that I have neglected my family and friends this past year, and there is no excuse for it. My resolution for 2017 is “finding a good balance between work and free time”. I know that I only talk about Tiny Houses and that it can be tiresome for my friends and family. My life revolves around Tiny Houses; but there is more to life than that. I think that the people that are dear to me have been very patient with me rambling on about nothing else but Tiny Houses, but their patience is wearing thin. That is why it’s so important to find a good balance between my Tiny House world and the rest of the world. My own company and my work for Tiny House Nederland versus friends, family, the band, concerts, Dungeons and Dragons and everything else that really interests me. It will be quite a challenge to find a balance in the New Year, but I’m up for a challenge.
One thing that I have learned in the past year is that if you have a dream that really depicts who you are and you know with all your heart that it is really something that you need to do, and you commit to it and do whatever it takes, then you can achieve what you need to do to make your dream come true. Dare to take the first step to realising your dream, and keep walking…
I wish you a wonderful Christmas with all your family and friends and hope that your dreams become a reality in 2017.