Of all your holiday memories what do you most recall? If I had to guess it isn’t the “perfect” ones. It’s the holiday mishaps that stick out. The once in a lifetime situations like the Thanksgiving turkey that slipped out of Grampy’s hands. A turkey is a turkey, but the one on the floor that left a pile of suddenly questionable looking stuffing next to it is the Thanksgiving you’ll remember. What about the fully decorated Christmas tree tipping over? Or the gift tags that Grammy accidentally mixes up on the packages? Those are the memories I’m talking about. Perfect doesn’t make you laugh the way imperfect does. The laughter and joy is what we remember about the holidays.
We try so hard to make the holidays perfect and stress when they don’t take on the shape of our expectations, but it’s the unexpected follies that we recall most fondly. In the moment it can be difficult to see the humor, but after the fact there’s nothing to do but laugh when the power goes out during your Christmas Eve celebration, or you carelessly ruin the magic of the Elf on the Shelf for someone else’s kid (sorry Quinny). Life happens even during the holidays when we strive for perfection.
Welcoming what’s unplanned has a way of forcing us to let go of the illusion of perfection. Santa doesn’t care if the cookies are burnt and no one else does either. The guest squished in at the end of the table is just glad to have a seat among friends and family. Should the gingerbread house refuse to stand, oh well! No one eats them anyway. Accept all the laughable situations the universe gives you this holiday season. Perfect doesn’t make you laugh, but laughter is what makes memories.