Ready or not, here come the holidays. They will be here soon whether you’re prepared or not, and honestly the holidays don’t care at all if you’re prepared or not. They don’t care if you’ve planned the perfect dinner menu, decorated the perfect tree and house, found the perfect shade of holiday red to tie everything together, taken the perfect family photograph for your holiday card, found matching pajamas for the family to wear on Christmas Day, they really don’t because it’s just a holiday. But what does care is what we bring to the holidays from that side of us with all it’s expectations, hopes and dreams, emotional hang-ups from our childhood, advertisements and social media. It all comes together and creates an over-the-top, unrealistic idea of perfection and what the holidays should be. Perfection outside of what makes us truly happy is artificially created and can never be achieved.
As a recovering Type A personality, I can honestly say the holidays fill me with more than just holiday spirit and warm fuzzy memories of Christmases past. They fill me with stress and anxiety. I’ve gotten a lot better and I’ve figured out a lot of strategies that help, but overall I finally figured out that the holidays don’t care, and the only person who knows about what you think the holidays should look like and be is you. No one else sees the picture in my head that was created from social media posts, holiday shows, and advertising. If it gives you true joy without guilt and anxiety then go for it. But if you’re creating a look and a holiday experience because you think that’s what it should be then don’t. Instead, find what is important to you and the life you have now and do that. My kids are 21 and 20. They have never looked at me and said their warm fuzzy memories were about how I decorated the house inside or out, what meal we had, what theme the Christmas tree was, and if I got the perfect pictures for social media. My friends have never said they think less of me because I didn’t have the perfect holiday, and if anyone ever does say that jettison them out of your life because that’s not a friend. Make the holidays about you and what is important and realistic to you and your family and then own that experience and feel it in your heart. That’s a perfect holiday!
I wish you safe and happy holidays spent with family and friends creating great memories!