If you believe popular media and holiday guides, you may think that everything to do with Christmas from the tree and decorations, to the food, and even how you wrap your gifts has to be perfect. That’s simply not true and deep down you know this. Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect to be enjoyable.
Wonky cookies taste just as good. Handmade ornaments with their flaws are charming. Mix and match holiday decorations reflect your style, your family history, and bring back lots of lovely memories. A burnt pie or an undercooked turkey may seem like a bit of Christmas dinner disaster, but they also give you stories you’ll retell and laugh about for years to come.
Stop striving for perfection. Instead, focus on enjoying this lovely season. At the end of the day, it won’t matter to your children, spouse, siblings, or grandkids how perfectly you wrapped their gifts. What matters is that you chose something meaningful. Don’t spend hours upon hours getting the tree decorated just right if it stresses you out. If you’re enjoying it, by all means go for it, but don’t force yourself to create a picture perfect holiday home. Instead, turn on some Christmas music, get the kids, and have fun decorating the house. Then pile everyone in the car with some hot chocolate and go look for Christmas lights.
When you feel yourself falling into the trap of wanting a perfect Christmas, think back on your favorite childhood holiday memories. I bet it wasn’t about having the perfect tree or nativity display that couldn’t be touched. Instead, our most precious memories are things like baking cookies, making ornaments, or singing Christmas Carols at the top of our lungs.
It’s also important to realize that we all go through tough times. Some Christmases will be lot more challenging than others. Maybe there was a death in the family. Maybe you lost your job right before Christmas. Maybe the water heater broke at the most inopportune time. It happens and while there are thousands of things that could happen that could potentially ruin Christmas, how you react to any of them is up to you. Some years, you simply make the best of it and move on.
Do what you can to give your loved ones a good Christmas, and chances are doing so will help cheer you up as well, no matter how big the challenges you’re facing. It’s often these unusual Christmases that will stand out and matter most to your little ones.
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