Beware of Unrealistic Christmas Expectations!
Whether you scroll through Pinterest, flip through your favorite magazine, or see holiday ads on TV, perfect versions of Christmas are popping up everywhere during the fall and winter months. While they are nice to look at and can serve as inspiration for your own holiday decorating, cooking, and gift giving, there’s a hidden danger in these perfect depictions of Christmas.
The key word here is “perfect”. When you’re looking at these holiday images, there’s a real danger that you start to expect your own family Christmas to have the same look and feel. That’s about as realistic as wanting the perfect, air brushed body that the model on the latest fitness or fashion magazine has. Coveting a magazine cover Christmas will only lead to disappointment and a feeling of inadequacy.
While we may intellectually know not to expect the perfect holiday display in a family with young children and pets, we may still subconsciously want it after seeing these perfect holiday visions all around us. Since we can’t realistically have a perfectly decorated home, or a color-coordinated tree with designer ornaments, we end up feeling disappointed when we look at the macaroni ornaments on our tree.
When we fall into that trap, we miss out on a lot of what makes Christmas so special. It isn’t about perfection, gourmet food, and color coordinated ornaments. It’s about sharing a special time of the year with our loved ones. It’s about sharing memories and making new ones. It’s about baking cookies, giving gifts, singing Christmas songs, hanging lights, sipping hot chocolate, and make more of those beautiful handmade ornaments with the kids. It’s about sharing the best traditions and celebrations with your faith community. It’s about being a messy, loud, and happy family enjoying Christmas together.
Don’t let this idea of perfection take the joy of the holidays out of you. Go bake some cookies and make a big mess. Hang those construction paper ornaments with pride. Get out all the kitschy little decorations that remind you of your childhood. Crank up those holiday tunes and then nestle up in the couch with some hot chocolate and sugar cookies to watch your favorite holiday movies. Who cares that there are crumbs in the blanket and one of the lights on your tree is out? What counts is that you’re having a good time. This year, instead of perfection, embrace coziness, happiness, and love. Merry Christmas!