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Let Go of the Perfect Christmas

As a society, we’ve pretty much had it drilled into us that we should have the perfect Christmas. The perfect tree, the perfect decorations, cookies, etc., y’all can see where I’m going with this. We all feel so much pressure at the holidays to have the perfect holidays and the perfect family photos, and really, it’s the little moments that aren’t perfect that make it so much better. Trying to be perfect can be draining, so it’s time to let go of the perfect Christmas that you see in magazines and Instagram.

So let go of the perfect Christmas and start enjoying the moments you have together. Don’t be stressing about having the house perfectly cleaned and decorated for your guests, because that’s not the important part. The important part is the time spent and the memories made together. Go look at Christmas lights or go out and try a restaurant’s holiday drinks together to celebrate the season. Enjoy the slightly crispy cookies that came out of the oven after a few minutes too long. Enjoy celebrating early or late, because you were able to get the time together, and really, the day isn’t important. Don’t stress about the party you’re throwing being “just right” because family and friends care about spending time together, not if the appetizers look like Grinch or reindeer.

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Embrace Imperfections

No one is perfect, no not even your neighbor who seems to have it all together. I know so much of our time spent is trying to be a perfect person, with the perfect life, but that’s just not reality. So instead, let’s try to embrace imperfections.

I’ve always been a perfectionist, even when I was a kid. I strived to get all A’s in school, be amazing at whatever sport I tried, etc. I’m still an overachiever, and I did manage to get A’s in school, but I didn’t get all A’s. In fact, I nearly got a C in Geometry Honors, and that truly crushed me in high school because it didn’t fit the image of this perfect girl I was trying to be. I colored my hair, because in my mind, being blonde was more perfect than being a brunette. I also started straightening my hair every day, because again, in my mind, straight hair meant perfection. I can’t really explain to you how that worked, but I can say I have learned since then to embrace the imperfections. I went back to my natural hair color, and now, if I want a change, it’s because I want to try a new color, not because blondes are somehow more perfect than brunettes. I learned to embrace my naturally wavy hair. It’s not perfect, it gets frizzy, and it fights me on styles certain days, but that’s ok. It’s me, it’s what I was given to work with, and it’s not always perfect, but it’s a part of myself.

I feel like sometimes we get so caught up in giving off this appearance of perfect that we lose ourselves. Society puts so much pressure on us, especially this time of the year, to be perfect with the holidays. Holidays are messy, there’s family in town, so things are more high-stress and things get broken, and things don’t go quite as planned, and maybe your Christmas light display isn’t as grand as the one next door. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, that doesn’t mean you failed Christmas. If you burned a batch of cookies, that’s ok, it happens to the best of us. If you forgot to make the vegetables along with the rest of the main meal, it happens. Just learn to roll with those moments and embrace the imperfections. Maybe you burned the cookies because you were out building a snowman and lost track of time. That to me sounds more perfect than missing out on that amazing memory to have a nice batch of cookies.

Life is messy, there’s so much of it that we can’t control, and that can make us all want to have these picture-perfect moments. But I can tell you, some of the strongest memories for me, they weren’t in picture-perfect moments, they were in messy moments, moments where things got forgotten because we were spending time as a family or moments where, the most important thing was a family game of football, not how perfectly decorated the house was. Enjoy the mess. It’s those little moments that make up a big, beautiful life.

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