The Dangers of the “Perfect Christmas”
Its started, the mad rush to Christmas. Though there are some who start their push to Christmas in July, for many of us the rush begins after Halloween. Facebook and Instagram feeds, retail stores and tv commercials bombard us with all things festive and inspiring. Homes are meticulously decorated. Evergreens cascading down the staircase, and over the fireplace mantle next to the tree. The entire scene dripping with ornaments and ribbons. And don’t even get me started on Pinterest.
We are striving to achieve the “perfect Christmas.” We search for the perfect Christmas cards. We spend money we don’t have for the perfect gifts. There’s parties to attend, white elephant exchanges, dinners, brunches, miles of wrapping paper to buy, Christmas plays, and an endless supply of Christmas movies filled with the perfect family around the perfect tree in the perfect house opening the perfect gifts.
So here’s my gift to you. Stop it! Martha isn’t coming over. There is no such thing as a perfect Christmas. No matter how hard you gift, plan, decorate, wrap, or party, you don’t win anything. There’s no prize because there’s no competition. The reality is that you’ll forget a gift, or get sick, or you will burn dinner, or the Christmas cards will be late, or something will happen, and its all OK. Your life is not a movie or a commercial. And you know, no one else’s Christmas is perfect either in spite of how it may look from the outside. In fact, for some people, this is a very difficult season.
So instead, treat each other with a little more compassion this Christmas. We often miss the little joys in the season because we are so focused on that perfect Christmas. Give more hugs, speak words of love, laugh harder, sing louder, smile more, and look for the little joys, because that’s what brings the true meaning of Christmas into our lives.