During this busy time of year, it is hard not to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of it all. We all have visions of our perfect Christmas. The twinkling Christmas tree set in its place of honor for all to see. Friends and family sitting around the table wearing their best holiday attire. The food, steaming and perfectly seasoned, is set on a table that would make Martha jealous. Everybody is smiling. Not one worry on this occasion.
Despite all of my best attempts, this type of holiday has never happened for me. The kids are running around, half dressed and screaming. I am covered in flour and whatever else I’ve been cooking. Dishes piled high in the sink. The pride and joy casserole somehow winds up dumped upside down on the floor. The family member that is bringing the main dish winds up sick and can’t come. The “Surprise! We’re here!” guests! At some point there are tears. Sometimes, I feel like we are in the middle of a Griswold Family Christmas.
I am starting to appreciate the not so perfect holiday. I still have visions of a flawless Christmas and I strive to make it a reality. Even though, I know it will never be as perfect as I see it in my head. I have come to realize that it is the Christmas gone awry that is the most memorable. All of our conversations about the holidays start with “Do you remember that time when (insert catastrophe) happened?’ Then we laugh about it.
This year I am going to embrace the imperfections. My tree is decorated by my kids and it is a little ornament heavy on the bottom. I love that it is not perfectly symmetrical. It is full of memories! The ornaments from long ago and the tree skirt made by my grandma. The ornaments made by the kids. The packing peanut garland that my mother in law helped the kids make. They are so proud of their work!
I know something in the kitchen will go wrong. I just hope it doesn’t involve smoke! Something will be forgotten. Something will be missed. We will talk and laugh about it for years to come!
So what if the tree doesn’t look like a picture from a magazine. So what if the presents are not all wrapped with coordinating paper, ribbons, and bows. So what if the holiday table will make Martha cringe. We are making memories!