1. Oh I could just HUG you right now!!! This is such an important and uplifting message. What really matters — you just nailed it! Wishing you safe travels!

  2. Lovely! I keep telling my friends (and myself) that. Enjoying each other’s presence is more important than some dust. 🙂

  3. Cheryl says:

    I think that I actually love you, what a fantastic piece of writing. I had some friends round for a cuppa & cakes & I tidied a bit but then decided that actually my friends couldn’t care less about my messy house – they call it homely & welcoming 🙂

  4. Taos says:

    Ok I guess we don’t have to stress about christmas but seriously mom. WE ARE LEAVING TOMORROW AT 10 IN THE MORNING AND OUR HOUSE IS A DISASTER AND WE HAVE TOTAL STRANGERS COMING TO LIVE IN IT FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON!!!!!!!!!!!!! But. No stress. Noooo stress. Right?
    ;D

    • julie says:

      love it! As much as I’d love to be stress free, there is someone in the family that probably does some stressing 😉

  5. michelle k says:

    Happy Holidays you all!!! I miss visiting your messy home here in Austin and I miss your kids and mine messing both homes up! Enjoy your holidays!!! Hugs to each of you and extra hugs to Taos 😉

  6. I’m running here and there to finish everything I think I should do before Christmas. I feel exhausted and I’m anxious for that time of the year to be over. Your post arrived right on time to remind me of the essential: enjoy every minute spent with my family. The rest really does not matter and the mess can wait. Because, really, who cares? Thank you so much and have a wonderful Holiday season.

  7. Marcie says:

    This was a balm to my weary heart. When did the measure of our guests’ comfort and our self worth become wrapped up and measured by the complete absence of anything resembling real life?

    Thank you!

    Marcie

  8. Milinda Lawless says:

    …..and this is why I regard you as my best friend~ everybody chillllllll and just enjoy each other!

  9. Anika says:

    Written right from the bottom of my Heart… Right now I’m leaving the laundry right where it ist, enjoying a nice Cup of tea…. Thank you so much!

  10. Michelle says:

    Wow! This is perfect! I was just thinking the other day how often women apologize for their messy house when someone comes over unexpectedly. I was wondering, who are they apologizing to? The guest, because it’s expected that they only enter into clean homes? To all the women before them who kept a clean house? To themselves? The truth is we almost never go into someone else’s home unexpectedly so the host usually has time to clean. So when we visit we are lead to believe that this person (and everyone else) always has a clean house. But they are thinking the same thing about you when you invite them over and clean before hand. We’re perpetuating the myth of a tidy, yet lived-in home. Let’s stop the madness!! None of us want to live in squalor, but I think none of us expect anyone else to keep a clean house all the time and we shouldn’t expect it of ourselves. All that time cleaning would be better spent doing just about anything else. Kudos for bringing light to this the way you do so many other great things…Thanks!!

  11. caddy says:

    Bliss! Brilliant writing!! And I love the comment
    By Taos too!! I adore the picture of folded and unfolded washing!!
    Fantastic! Thank you!! X

  12. I wholeheartedly agree. The mess doesn’t matter. My house is a mess right now. It needs to get a little cleaner and I have no time for it. But it is different for me, see I have a husband that loves when it is clean, he likes order, he is in a much better mood when everything is in it’s place – which lately is NEVER around here (just 2 kids). I absolutely need to frantically clean as much as I can and loose some peace because it would be really hard for him to enjoy the holidays in this mess, and I get him. The great thing is, we’re not having company! Our house is too small for guests, cramped. So that’s the bright side 🙂 I can still shove some stuff in the closet and pretend it’s not there even if only for the holidays 😉

  13. Debi says:

    Omgoodness Beth! You are SO full of wisdom for someone so young!!! I only WISH I had those ideas at your age! The holidays for myself and my kids would have been sooo much more fun! I wish you were my neighbor!! You are too adorable and smart and funny!!!! xxoo
    Merry Christmas!..I was gonna bake today…but I’m tired..having a glass of wine and being OKAY with it! Thanks!

  14. Babs says:

    WEll said………..it’s about the time together to make memories and nothing else at all!

  15. Denise says:

    ah – thanks for this! I do enjoying the making & baking because I am sharing a part of ME. But I am usually on the late side and have learned not to stress about that. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family! 🙂

  16. Louise says:

    OMG that should be on a poster we should all hang as you walk in our doors! True spirit of LIFE not just holidays – here I am! Come and just be joyful with me! Thank you I really needed this

  17. Alyssa says:

    THANK YOU!!! I needed this today as I continue to trip over piles and stacks, cursing myself for letting myself fall so far behind over the holidays!!

  18. Yes!! I love this. I feel exactly the same way. I have made it a point not to apologize to my friends and family when they come over and my house is a mess (which is always).

  19. Katy D. says:

    Thank you! So timely – just took a break from frantically cleaning for Mom’s visit. I learned this madness from her. She promises she doesn’t mind our mess and doesn’t want me to stress, but old habits die hard. Thanks for the reminder that it isn’t worth it. Love and miss that Taos, too!

  20. Stacy Fisher says:

    Please come up to Oklahoma City and pick me up and take me with you…Just drop me off somewhere warm and I will call my family to come get me, 🙂 I really would love to get home for Christmas this year, it would be such a surprise to my family…I haven’t been “home” in PA for over 5 years…

  21. Tiffany says:

    It’s not that I disagree with you, but I do want to state that when I make a long trip to see someone and they make no preparations for my arrival I do feel bad. I don’t know if it’s un welcomed or a bother or just not that looked forward too. I do not feel this way with my family and friend who live nearby and whole I visit with normally. But when I travel 16 hours and nothing or 1 or 2 things have been completed or planner or prepped it’s almost like that person doesn’t care too much if I come or not.

  22. Lexi says:

    Taos!!!! I love you!! And Beth your incredible, wish you were coming to stay with us. Trust me you would feel 100% better about your perfect chaos. Stinkin love you guys like crazy!!

  23. Wendy says:

    sniff. thanks ♥

  24. Shelly says:

    Just the reminder needed this time of year and all year long. I LOVE this.

  25. Christine says:

    You are officially my favorite blogger. Thank you I needed to hear every word of this today!

  26. Carly says:

    Duly noted 😉

  27. Jen says:

    I think you’re awesome.

  28. Stephanie Camfield says:

    Amen, Beautiful Sister. Infinite love to you and yours!

  29. Jalane says:

    Thank you!!! My house may be a mess, but it’s MY mess! Laundry, books, cats, dishes, dust, cozy recliner, fuzzy socks, hot chocolate. It’s all there, and I wouldn’t want it any other way!

  30. Drea says:

    love this post. I had thought of posting about this at some point as well 🙂 Lets show our messes too!

  31. cher says:

    I so wish I had this 20 years ago – it’s what I told my family EVERY time I went home for a visit – mostly to no avail. Maybe if they could have read this, and realize I wasn’t “just saying it”, they would have saved themselves alot of stress. Thanks for the pic’s to reinforce the message too!

  32. Christa says:

    Beth – As always, a beautifully written, on-point post. Thanks for sharing!

  33. MML says:

    I don’t know why this made me sniffle a little, but it did. This is totally spot on, and I really wish you’d teach my mother this. Once, for company, I threw my dirty laundry in the shower to get it out of the way. I have a shower curtain, which I closed. She freaked. Look, if you’re opening the shower in somebody else’s house, you deserve whatever you find. I once lost a library book for a month because she hid it from company after I left it on an end table.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Oh dear, my mother has a twin? I am in complete agreement with you. And I thought I was clever hiding my laundry in the shower, sheesh; who looks in showers? (Besides perfectionistic mothers…) I have to feel sorry for them in a way!

    • julie says:

      I think everyone needs a space to hide laundry, or other bits and pieces for that matter! And agree, if they go looking for it I hope they find something that scares them!! When my space extends past a room, it needs to be dealt with though 😉

  34. aisha says:

    I just wanted to tell you that I’ve never left a reply on any of the many blogs I’ve read, but what I just read above is the most amazing thing I’ve ever read. Thank you for taking pictures of your mess!

  35. Maggie says:

    Amen! Thank you for making us all feel a little more normal, and for giving us reason to relax and enjoy our families at this wonderful time.

  36. ingrid says:

    you always make me smile : )
    happy holidays & lots of love!

  37. rOBERT LEE says:

    hey cus wish your family and you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  38. Ronda Porter says:

    I stumbled across your blog and this particular post in the wee hours this morning – I SO needed this. Thanks for saying what we are ALL feeling and thinking and more importantly letting everyone know it’s alright to JUST BE! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  39. Erin Cuevas says:

    I LOVE this! It almost made me cry. We all need to remember what Christmas is really about, and I struggle with accepting that a junky house (on account of three young kids) is okay. Thank you for posting this!!!

  40. stephinie says:

    this is so perfect…..

  41. Ellen says:

    I am all about setting priorities and letting things go when they cause more stress than they are worth, but the act of preparation for special visitors can be a way of showing love. I adore getting my home ready and meals planned for when my adult children come to visit…those times are so precious.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Just make sure you aren’t always fluffing the pillows and vacuuming the minute they leave a room. Enjoy every bit of their presence. My own mom thought she was giving us the gift of a tidy house but what we got instead was a low self esteem and a perfection we (I) can never hope to attain. I never got to know her on a personal level.

  42. Alexanda says:

    will save and remember this; it applies to non-holiday times too. You got is so right

  43. Marial says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you for speaking my heart and enlightening us all on how to get from “why do we do this to ourselves” to “hey, we don’t have to do this!”

  44. Elizabeth N says:

    I don’t know where you live; could you just pm me your address? I need someone like you for a neighbor to undo the damage done by my overbearing, never happy, still finding cobwebs in my corners; mother…..
    And thank you for having the guts to stand up and say this ‘outloud’ for all the world to hear!!! I have hidden away all these years and wasted them it sounds like. Ah well, so ’tis…

  45. Oh man this has made me smile!
    Thank you

  46. Sage says:

    Perfecty put. Thank you so much for the reminder, ahh, feeling normal and less alone, whew. Get so stressed about people judging my space, but just don’t have the time to keep it clean while raising kids and trying to stay sane with reading and art projects 🙂

  47. Virginia Berno says:

    Lovely. Simply lovely sentiment. I’ve just stumbled onto your website and am strolling around. You attempts to put aside stress, anger, sadness etc that there is more room for calm, happy noise, a little productive or simply fun chaos is a quest I am on myself. Thanks for sharing yours so openly.

  48. LINDA says:

    I love you Beth Berry,thank-you for this lovely post.

  49. Julie remember Jenny Moses our guest on chapel hill? had a dinner party and you were asked to ‘do’ your bath room. Ms. Moses said your bathtub was dirty and you put a note
    Up saying ‘”you should not look behind my shower curtain”. she returned to the table ad said she was shocked and thought you were rude—– that’s when I knew that you could
    Take of your 14 year old self!! I was so proud of you lol.

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