Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas: It’s Not All-or-Nothing.

I am a first-born child who grew up to become an elementary teacher.  To say that I have issues with perfectionism is putting it lightly!  lol As a kid, though, I was waaaaay more high-strung than I am now.  God has worked in my heart a lot over the years to realize that perfectionism isn’t really the best way to go through life.  I find being laid-back to be a LOT more fun….plus people seem to like you more!  haha :)


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One area I still struggle with, though, is with events and family traditions.   I love making memories and having yearly things to look forward to and I make a big deal out of holidays and birthdays (and yes, the actual day on the calendar is SUPER important to me). 

I tend to build up certain days and events so much in my head…and then when one part of the “perfect plan” goes wrong, I am crushed.  My sweet husband has coached (?) me through this a lot over the past 7 years that we’ve been together.  I’ve gotten a lot better about letting things slide and finding the  joy in the unexpected.  I really have. 


It has been TWO YEARS since I have been able to decorate for Christmas – not to mention that we have never, in all the years we’ve been married, spent a Christmas morning together alone as a couple (we’ve always been visiting in CT, and thus staying with my parents). 

So, needless to say, heading into this season, I’ve had a LOT of expectations on the line.  (Pinterest, while I am more than obsessed, definitely doesn’t help with that.)  But God (and my husband!) have really been working in my heart the last few weeks as I’ve been thinking about the upcoming season.  And you know what I realized? 

The great thing about Christmas is that it comes every year. 

That perfect photograph of the three of us that I wanted for my Christmas cards that didn’t happen because my toddler didn’t get the memo about photo shoots being happy? 

Another year!

The gorgeous Advent calendar I was going to make to help us celebrate the season, before I realized that my 2-year-old could care less about things like that right now?

Another year!

I can go on. :)

Tomorrow we are going to get our Christmas tree from the tree farm my family always went to when I was a kid.  I love it there – it’s so pretty, there’s animals, plus the nostalgia-level is basically overflowing for me. 

I have visions that we will get coffee/hot chocolate on the way over, our son will laugh delightedly over the animals, we will get a gorgeous tree and also get some awesome shots of us at the farm. 

In reality?  Luke will probably cry when we have to leave the animals to get the tree, and odds are he won’t want to be in the picture with us because all he’ll want to do is go back to the animals. 

But two out of four isn’t bad!  hahaha

You see my point?  It’s never going to be perfect, and those ridiculous expectations I have rob me of the joy of living in the moment.   

At some point, I will have a 10-year-old who will understand how to smile nicely for the photo….but he won’t giggle when the chickens run away from him. 

At some point, I will have a beautiful Advent calendar made for my child(ren) to enjoy….but I won’t have a toddler who is fascinated by the very presence of our resident Elf-on-the-Shelf. 

Christmas will come and go every year….and each year there will be new things to enjoy and new things to experience with my family. 

It’s not all-or-nothing, and I don’t have to do everything, every year.  What a freeing thought!


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