It’s the time of year to watch some of my favorite old movie’s -Christmas Vacation is definitely one of them. I never seem to get tired of watching Clark Griswold and his futile attempts to provide the perfect Holiday for his family. This year, I realized that in many ways I am just like him- Every holiday season a little bit of Clark Griswold lives inside all of us.
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 the biggest hill in the neighborhood, waking up on a snowy Christmas morning and finding presents under the tree. Aren’t these the perfect moments we hope for those we love?
In this quest for to relive our mythical past, we may be setting ourselves up with unrealistic expectations. The reason I say this, is because guess what- our past wasn’t perfect, we just like remember it that way. Nostalgia is the sandpaper that smooths out the rough edges of our memories.
Think about all the stress and pressure we place upon 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 simply have the perfect holiday.
The fact is, as Clark Griswold proves to us every year, the holiday’s are not perfect and really if you think about it, are they really meant to be? Holiday’s 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 can really set us up for big disappointments. The biggest reason for this is because people, relationships, life, and especially kids aren’t perfect, they’re messy. Beautifully messy!
For the holidays, is it really that big of a deal how messy everything is? 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 to perfection, 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 take a moment to stop and enjoy the moment. 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 decide how you spend your holiday- or you can take a deep breath, be present in the moment, 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 year. So go ahead and make a mess!
And thank you for all of the perfect memories you have helped create with me this year!
Looking forward to our next connection
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