We all want to feel loved, and we all want our families to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are loved by us. One way we do that in the South is by making home a place our family wants to be. Here are five of our favorite ways to do that!
- Home should be comfortable, not a museum. If you are worried that something will be destroyed, put it up. Just do it. You will be happier when people can move and live freely without being on edge all the time. Balls will be kicked. Furniture will be flopped on. Dishes will get chipped. Things will break. But in a family, what matters more than those things is the people who make the house a home.
- Home should be comforting, not stressful. For a lot of us, that means that home should be neat and clean, because that creates an environment that we want to curl up in. Now don’t mistake neat and clean for immaculate. See #1. We’re not talking about passing a white glove test! We’re just talking about the kind of cleanliness that feels good. Everything is picked up, maybe a candle is lit and a lamp is turned on, and there is a cozy warmth to the evening together.
- Home should be safe. We all find ourselves holding things back throughout the day, but we need to have somewhere safe to talk about things that we just need to get out. For us, home is where we can do that. We know that whatever our opinion, thought, or feeling, it will be heard with grace and maybe a few thought provoking questions, but we certainly won’t be kicked out of the family for it!
- Home should be full of traditions. These are the things that lifelong memories are made of! Whether it is a nightly tradition of praying together as a family, a holiday tradition of going caroling or making Christmas cookies, or an annual tradition of going to a special event together, traditions are what make ordinary days special.
- Home should be full of little surprises. These little surprises are the things that bring us momentary joy, which adds up over time to intensify the feeling of being loved. Maybe it’s freshly baked cookies after school one day, a surprise gift you overheard your daughter asking for, a note or chocolate tucked into a lunchbox, or my mom’s favorite – a seasonal dancing something in a bathroom! You never, ever know what is going to happen when you open that door!
The point of this blog is this. It doesn’t take a fortune to make home the place that your family wants to be. It takes thoughtfulness, love, and a graceful, generous spirit that puts others first. That is what makes a house a home.