Monday, December 2, 2013

Imperfection

Every year I play the same mind game with myself. About a week or so before Thanksgiving I imagine what the my ideal holiday season looks like. The food cooked to perfection, handmade gift items finished without rush, time for volunteer opportunities, etc. You get the picture. When I eventually fall short of being the Martha Stewart (note: no dig intended on Martha here) I aspire to be, I can beat myself up pretty badly. But not this year, I am changing my ways.

I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this madness. I blame TV and movies for making us think this time of year has to be "magical" or we are somehow failures. I mean come on, the Hallmark channel has movie after movie about some kind of Christmas miracle right now. Enough already. Sometimes our holidays are just what they are. There are some that we remember fondly for a special reason, but mostly they are a harried frenzy to the finish line. Things have to fall off our plate. And guess what, that's okay. The world will not stop spinning if you didn't get around to your holiday cards.

Sometimes littles will not cooperate for the perfect holiday photo.
With less unrealistic expectations on this season, we are open to seeing the goodness we have been letting go by unnoticed. Maybe I won't get around to making sugar cookies, but I will take a few minutes to share stories with the kids about some of our holiday family heirlooms. And maybe the shopping will be stressful and rushed, but I'm going to sing along with Judy Garland and Bing Crosby on the radio in the car.

This little drum ornament was made by my Great-Grandmother.
This season I plan on paying attention to the little things, and taking more opportunities to "pay it forward" to strangers. That is what I will consider a success. And I think I can manage it. 

Knitting by the tree with a slice of pie is one of the simple joys.
You know, I'm a really big believer in creating your own reality. What goes on in my life has been created by me...the good and the bad. And what I don't like I can change. No excuses, no pointing fingers outward, it's all on me. So why let the holidays be any different?

–Cassandra

PS - This Friday (Dec 6) is St. Nicholas day. There are some great links on this old post to find out more about this tradition.

6 comments:

  1. Great post!! You have rediscovered the Spirit of Christmas.
    I used to remove all decor and replace it with Christmas decor. I hurried to get it all done on the weekend after Thanksgiving. The house was a wonderland...really. And I was totally stressed. A few years ago I let all that go. Now I decorate, but not over the top.

    Happy Holidays. I know yours will be joyous. And BTW, the kids LOVE those stories. Even my 16 and 18 year old grandsons still like to hear them.

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    1. Thanks! It feels so good to take of the pressure off! Happy holidays to you too!

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  2. I really enjoyed reading this post, recognizing so many similar wishes and feelings about how our own personal Christmas wishes and aspirations get caught up in some other media fueled atmosphere.

    Seems to me that you've got it right. Years ago I began making most of my Christmas gifts, and all of my cards. The creativity gave me pleasure, and seemed to have given pleasure to the recipients, too.

    Santa's workshop is in full flow about now. Looking for elves, but think they might be in another workshop.

    xo

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    1. Oh! You are one ambitious lady Frances! I hope you post pictures of your watercolor cards. I'd love to see them!
      –Cassandra

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  3. Brilliant! This post is so relatable! I feel like there are 3 camps for the holidays: the Cheerful (it doesn't matter how much you piss on their cheerios their joy is triumphant), the Flounders (they try so hard for the holidays to be perfect, but are never really happy/satisfied with what happens), and the Scrooges (who are obviously those that have given up on even attempting to enjoy the holidays). Sadly I find myself more in the Scrooge camp than anything, because it is sickening what the holidays have become. But I applaud you for your ambition to become one of the Cheerful ones, the world needs more of that.

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    1. I'll tell you, I was on my way to Scrooge when I had to reevaluate my headspace. That's where this was born from!

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