The Christmas of my childhood was filled with magic. If there were any Christmas decorations in the public square I can’t recall them. I do remember, however, the door between my grandparents’ kitchen and the living room. About a week before Christmas it closed and stayed shut until Christmas Eve.
That evening, after a week of growing anticipation, and after the last bite of carp and boiled potatoes, the little bell rang. It came from behind the door. In concert, a traditional German Christmas carol permitted me to open the door.
And there it was, in an otherwise dark room, the Christmas tree decorated with tinsel and real lighted candles! Below the tree, I eyed the shapes of the parcels while my aunt continued to play “Oh Kinderlein kommet” on the upright piano.
The closed door made it possible for the adults to prepare the room, smuggle the tree inside, decorate it, wrap all the gifts, and set up the crèche. The open door revealed the secrets behind it.
We need more doors.
With Christmas approaching and Covid unrelenting most of us are confined to our own walls. What we are finding out is that we need more walls. We recognize that the great room concept was not invented for times like this.
Two children homeschooling in front of the fireplace, one parent holding a zoom meeting in the dining area and another filling the dishwasher with clanging cookie tins is not the ideal setting for the Corona-housebound family. Whatever the make up of a household, now everyone is looking for their own space.
Yes, we could all retreat to our bedrooms, but that’s not the idea behind a home. We do need other spaces where each of us or a few of us together can exist apart from anyone else.
For that to happen we need all kinds of doors: French doors, single doors, folding, sliding pocket, and barn doors.
Pre Covid , we already learned that the wide open floor plan had drawbacks such as cooking smells, noise pollution, and lack of privacy. Nowadays, these conditions can become unbearable.
Home improvement stores are doing a brisk business. I’m sure that drywall and doors are in high demand. I also believe that architects and builders everywhere are drawing up plans for homes with more walls and more doors.
We need more mystery to make magic.