Holiday Lessons From Clark Griswold


This past weekend my family and I watched one of our favorite old movies -Christmas Vacation. For some reason it never seems to get old watching Clark Griswold and his futile attempts to provide the perfect holiday for his family. This year more than any other before, I realized that in so many ways I am just like him. Every holiday season I believe a little bit of Clark Griswold lives inside of me and in so many others it seems.

Aren’t we all in search of the perfect holiday for our families and ourselves? To relive the nostalgia of a childhood filled with Christmas cookies, sledding down Vets Park hill, waking up on a snowy Christmas morning and finding something magical under our trees. Aren’t these the perfect moments we hope for those we love?

In this quest for to relive our idealized past, are we setting ourselves up with some unrealistic expectations? The reason I say this is because guess what – our past wasn’t perfect, we just happen to remember it that way.

Think about all the stress and pressure we place on ourselves to send out the perfect card, buy the perfect gift, cook the perfect meal, decorate the perfect home, host the perfect gathering, say the perfect toast, and just simply have the perfect holiday.

The fact is, as Clark Griswold proves to us every year, the holidays are not perfect and really if you think about it, are they really meant to be? Holidays are just the opposite of perfect, and that’s what makes them special.

All the pressure we place upon ourselves and those we choose to celebrate our special days with can really set us up for big disappointments. The biggest reason for this is people, and especially kids, are messy.

For the holidays is it really that big of a deal how messy they are? Is the world going to come crashing to an end if our home isn’t gleaming and spotless? How important is it that our turkeys are cooked just right, or if our mashed potatoes are a bit lumpy. Will it really destroy our holiday if the pumpkin pie has a bit of burnt crust on the side? If we can’t find that one gift that was requested, will the world actually stop spinning? I think you get the picture.

So when you catch yourself stressing this holiday season to cram everything into your already over-booked schedule. If you find yourself furious with the person who cut you off on the highway, or lose your patience with the cashier at the store, remember that you have a choice. You can allow others to control you and ruin your holiday – or you can take a deep breath, enjoy yourself, and soak in this amazing time of the year and appreciate all the gifts with which you have been blessed.

Over the years, like Clark Griswold, I’ve learned the hard way that the holidays are not about being perfect. Holidays are about creating perfect moments with all of the perfectly un-perfect people you have chosen to surround yourself with this holiday season. So go ahead and make a mess!

Happy Holidays!

And thank you for all of the perfect memories you have helped create with me this year!

Looking forward to our next conversation – and 2016.

Holiday Thoughts for the Week:

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” – Charles Dickens

“Christmas is a time when you get homesick – even when you’re home.” – Carol Nelson

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.” – Andy Rooney

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder

“Love the giver more than the gift.” – Brigham Young

“Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.” – Mary Ellen Chase

 

Looking forward to our next conversation!

Enjoy this holiday gift from MyQuarterTurns and make 2016 your best year ever!

4 Comments On “Holiday Lessons From Clark Griswold”

  1. Thank you for saying this, I know I had a Clark Griswold in me the last couple of weeks and I just reached a point of acceptence that you put into words for me.

  2. Tim, thank you for always having something inspiring and thought provoking to share. You’re so right, it’s easy to create a picture perfect image in our minds as to what the holidays should be. Each year, more than anything else, I’ve been trying to remind myself to be more present in the moments. Christmas flies when we let ourselves get so busy rushing about or booking our schedule beyond normal. When it’s all done we look back and feel like we missed the magic. One thing I’m looking forward to is letting some peace and calm take over and appreciating the full moon on Christmas, it hasn’t happened since 1977 and won’t happen again until 2034. A moment to enjoy the quiet of night and the wonder of it all. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *