We had 2 visitors and a Christmas tree as ‘extra’ in our apartment over the Christmas holidays. Our first visitor left just after Christmas and our second visitor left a week ago. Today we took down the Christmas tree.

Our apartment is very large by Parisian standards – 120 sq meters. But even at that size adding bodies then taking them away makes it seem much larger post-Christmas.

There is a wonderful children’s book which I HIGHLY recommend which describes this feeling. It is called “A Squash and a Squeeze” by Julia Donaldson. The main character complains that her house is too small and asks for advice. The advice is to add a chicken, a goat, then a pig, then a cow etc. She doesn’t understand how this is helping! But once all the animals are in, she is advised to remove them. Afterwards her house seems huge to her!

Same thing in Paris. Fill your apartment with visitors and a tree. When they leave, the apartment will feel much more spacious!

If you have kids, I highly recommend the book. It has a subtle lesson about how much space (and things) we really need or not. It is sort of a Marie Kondo-like in that way – Marie Kondo for kids.

By the way, Julia Donaldson has some other excellent books as well. I highly recommend ‘The Gruffalo’, and ‘The Spiffiest Giant in Town.” They are all super easy to read and have a gentle kindness about them.