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Pursuit of Holiday Perfection

Giving yourself permission to release the unobtainable

Holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, but they can also be the most hectic. Many of us are still adjusting to life out in the world again, and the holiday hustle can seem daunting after our worlds became so small the past few years.

With social media, there’s more pressure than ever for the holidays to be perfect, but what is the perfect holiday?

When my husband and I got married, I was so excited to host my big, crazy Greek family at our new house. We decorated early, did more grocery runs than can be counted, pulled out the nice dishes, had everyone’s favorites on hand, shopped for gifts over and over and wrapped early, made up guest rooms, and I even took the time to infuse the house with a holiday scent to make the ambiance more festive.

LUNACY!

I was so focused on making sure everything was perfect that by the time everyone arrived, I was exhausted. That morning, my husband got called into the office, my water heater broke, and even though I followed instructions about the length of time it took to thaw my first 13-pound turkey- it was frozen solid!

We polar plunged my toddler nephew in the cold shower, which traumatized him about using our bathrooms for several years. My family witnessed me having a Clark W. Griswold freak out on the phone with the home warranty company, after which I raced to Costco where, gratefully, they had pre-thawed turkeys, and my sister-in-law and I went through the hilarious trauma of seeing what comes out of a turkey for the first time together. ICK!

That night, as we sat at our dining room table, I listened to everyone sharing stories, laughing, and being content together despite the chaotic morning we’d had. I realized that we could have been eating takeout in sweatpants, and the result would have been the same.

I share all of this to remind you, as we enter this busy season, that the holidays, like life, aren’t perfect, but it’s the imperfect moments that make for the best memories with family and friends.  

As you see pictures of “perfection” online or elsewhere, know that there was likely a whole lot of crazy, along with a few meltdowns that went on behind the scenes there, too. So, let go of the pursuit of perfection and embrace the crazy- it’s what the holidays are truly all about.

Here are a few tips for to hold on to your sanity this season:

-         Give yourself and those around you grace.

-         Prioritize your mental and physical health so you don’t get sick and miss the fun.

-         Even if you haven’t yet — get organized. Take the time to build lists in advance to save you from the chaos later. Plus, checking off small victories is good for the soul.  

-         Take advantage of points/rewards programs to get discounts along the way.

-         Don’t feel bad if you’re not in the spirit — it’s your holiday, too.

-         Remember that you can’t control other people’s emotions, only your own.

-         Happiness is a choice, so find your joy — you deserve it.

Happy Holidays

I listened to everyone sharing stories, laughing, and being content together despite the chaotic morning we’d had. I realized that we could have been eating takeout in sweatpants, and the result would have been the same.

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