give up on perfection and have fun anyway

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There’s a lot of pressure to be happy this time of year. Put all your cares aside, buy everyone you know gifts, and find time to spend with a hundred people that you otherwise don’t take much time to see during the year.

Crazy, isn’t it?

And while you’re at it – eat a years worth of sweets in one 2 week period.

The stress and poor diet is enough to kill you. Literally.

Now add all of your hopes for a magical perfect holiday. Which of course is rarely ever going to happen.

You’ve got to give yourself a break already.

People are going to have too many plans, and your party might be the one to get nixed.

You might have too many plans, and can’t make every party.

It might snow and no one is going anywhere.

You might not have the money to buy the kinds of gifts you’d like to give.

You might not have the time to get everything set up perfectly.

You have 2 choices. Accept things as they are and make it as special as you can anyway, or mope and let everyone know how miserable you are – and make them feel miserable too. It’s easy to make people feel miserable. It seems we’re predisposed to that sometimes. But it takes a special person to say – fine, we’re going to have fun anyway.

I had 4 days of merriment planned for this year. As things fell apart one by one, I am now having Christmas Dinner. That’s it. Oh, I’ll have houseguests, but the plans for each day have fallen apart in one way or another.

My daughter and I will be alone for most of Christmas Eve. That might seem sad. But, we haven’t had a chance to bake those cookies, and this will be the perfect opportunity. We can have a nice dinner together, and finish up any wrapping and surprises for Christmas morning. I know the time will go way too fast.

Like many of you, money for gifts is limited. I focus on my daughter, and my best friend and her kids. Everyone else gets something created from Gifts from the Heart(h). I got Christmas coffee mugs at Walmart for 70 cents each. I picked up Christmas kitchen towels, pot holders, and stuff like that – cheap. I’ll pair those with a nice coffee or hot chocolate. If I have time to make the fudge and ‘people chow’ fine. If I don’t – oh well.

I don’t know about you, but I like getting Christmas towels. Mine really need replacing pretty much every year or two. I bring out the Christmas mugs at Thanksgiving. I always appreciate ornaments or other decorations. Some of mine are so old and falling apart – but I hate to get rid of them. Many were gifts. Many were hand made.

Wouldn’t you like your gift to be cherished like that?

My friend was telling me that her tree is up, and she loves it. Every ornament has a story. She knows who gave her each one, or why she picked up a special one. That’s what makes a Christmas tree magical. Not white ornaments on a black tree, or whatever the current trend may be. It’s the stuff from the heart.

A couple other quick gift ideas –

Netflix subscription is a great gift. Anyone I know who’s gotten one has really liked it.

A gift certificate from You pay half of the face value, and you can print it right up on your way out the door. I’ve given those a few times. You can even slip the certificate into a card for those people who live farther away – but it probably won’t get there by Christmas at this point L 

So don’t be beating yourself up because you can’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars. It truly is the thought that counts – if you took some time to put some thought into it. Spending a lot of money on meaningless gifts isn’t any fun.

The best way to enjoy Christmas? Be flexible and don’t expect perfection. Sometimes good enough is perfect.

Hey, while I was writing this article, my Christmas Dinner went from 6 people to 15 people. I don’t have 15 chairs. And I only bought a 20-pound turkey. So I’d better get going! And it won’t be perfect. But it will be a wonderful day filled with family and friends. What more could you ask for?

OK, OK, I didn’t mean to give me your whole list. I hope Santa brings all you’ve asked for 😉

Have a Very Merry Christmas.



a.k.a. – ‘Mother’