Why It’s OK to Have a Messy House This Christmas

So I have this daughter…

(Don’t you love that? Couldn’t a blog post go just about anywhere with an upfront disclaimer like that? Because I know you have a daughter… or a friend, dog, husband, whatever… who could be a story-starter too.)

She’s a unique character, a keeps-you-on-your-toes type. Lots of ideas, strong opinions, energy. I’ve talked before about how she’s gluten-intolerant; she’s also a highly sensitive child…. Which is, by the way, a Real Thing. If you think you may have a family member who’s very sensitive to stimulation, bright lights, itchy clothes, etc – I highly recommend Elaine Aron’s work.

Anyway, my daughter benefits from alone time – listening to audio books, doing puzzles, coloring. She loves these things, actually. And she likes nothing more than a good fort to burrow into.

Our new house in Crete has an open loft at the top of the stairs, leading to the second floor. One quiet November Saturday she built a fort there. It started with the standard stuff – table, blankets, pillows, the basics. Then slowly, over the course of a few days, the fort took on a life of its own. More chairs along the side. Every spare blanket in the house, seemingly. All her arts and crafts supplies inside. Stray toys, a shield, bathrobe, stuffed animal carrier “adorning” the outside nooks and crannies.

It was the kind of thing I normally would have had “dismantled” after a few days, but it kept her happy, and that space isn’t yet actively used for anything else. So up it stayed. And stayed and stayed, till here it stands today.

Susan Arico
Susan Arico
Susan Arico is writer, strategy consultant, wife, and mom to four. She’s a fast-talking Yankee who recently returned to her native New England after living in Crete, Greece for the past four years. Susan writes about living adventure, wrestling the soul, and figuring out what it means to do both well. Visit her at www.susanbarico.com

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