Updated: Jul 27, 2020
Perfectionism. A character trait that runs deep into our family, through and through. And I am no exception. So, as the holidays rolled around, and things weren’t quite unfolding as planned, I found myself procrastinating more and more. Waiting for the “perfect” moment. When the spirit of the season took my breath away, and I would just know, deep within my soul, that all was going to be okay. That Christmas Day would be completely flawless. That all the preparations and lack of sleep would be totally worth it all. Because everything would fall into place, just so.
But, that was just simply not reality. This year, most especially. And it was a hard pill for this mama to swallow. Christmas has never been totally impeccable, but it has always been incredibly special. There has always existed a rush. But there has also always been enough extra time. To get it all done. This year seemed to be lacking the needed ingredients to pull it all off. To create the seamless Christmas Day. And instead, everything going wrong was staring me in the face, front-and-center…
~the flickering strand of lights on the Christmas tree, that finally sizzled out, right in the middle
~the lack of shimmering Christmas snow, blanketing the unusually green winter grass
~the missed time to pursue any picture-perfect, last-minute gifts
~the aftermath of a week of little babes who have missed their naps with so much swirling around us
~the realization of having grabbed several of the “wrong” ingredients for our Christmas meal, without time to return to the grocery store to make it right
I found myself dwelling. On the “missing“. The “lacking”. The negative. The fact that the fun-filled days I had envisioned with my girls, leading up to Christmas, were thrown to the way-side, replaced with unexpected grocery runs, doctor visits and more. And as I sat in our mini-van, one week ago, for over an hour, with one screaming babe, one whining babe and one sleeping Monkey, I realized, I. hadn’t. laughed. in. days. I am sure I had smiled. Maybe even slightly chuckled here-and-there. But I love to laugh. And I had totally lost all of the joy that was to encompass this special time of year. It had been tucked away, far back into my anxious thoughts, worries and endless “to-do” list, scrolling through my mind. I knew something had to give.
And at that moment, I made a realization. I was the only one who could turn things around. Who could create and excite the holiday spirit within myself, my family and my girls, most especially. Things this year just plain-and-simply were not going to be perfect. And that was just going to have to be okay.
Before I knew it, my attitude shifted. I had three beautiful girls, for whom I was responsible to ignite pure excitement for the beauty of the upcoming holiday week. And I was failing miserably. But, it wasn’t too late. With fresh perspective, I was ready to take on the remaining tasks on my lists with a vengeance, and refreshed spirit; to crank up the Christmas music for three more days and karaoke along, at the top of our lungs; to step up Ollie’s (our Elf’s) game and produce something magical for the girls on Christmas Eve; to inundate our home with the pure grace of the season.
And that’s just exactly what I did. Setting out to work on creating and focusing on the perfectly imperfect Christmas celebration, such as…
~not finding any seats at the busiest Christmas Eve mass in our town, but having Daddy surprise us by getting off of work early and meeting us there (ohhhhh, the girls’ excitement when they saw him!!)
~handling/pushing through all three girls melting down in the early hours of Christmas morning, only to be blessed with an amazing remainder of the day
~unexpectedly trying a new green bean casserole recipe, due to having grabbed one of the wrong ingredients, but finding ourselves enjoying it just as much, all the same!
~moving the annual Christmas night gift exchange between my husband and myself, on a whim, so we could just “be” and enjoy each other’s company after an emotional week
~taking advantage of the warm winter weather, by going outside to “mud-it-up”, instead of sulking about the lack of snow for the holidays
It was great, sweet friends. Not flawless. Not without hiccups. But wonderful, just the same. Perfectly imperfect.