When most people refer to “the holidays” it is about a 3-month interval from the start of Halloween to the end of the New Year Celebration. So many holidays are packed so tightly into such a short amount of time it is hard to not get wrapped up in the joy, wonder, and happiness of the season, or maybe get wrapped up in the stress and sleepless nights of trying to make your holiday perfect.
While billboards and commercials start talking about chocolate cinnamon lattes and the newest fads for kid’s toys, it is hard not to be overwhelmed with trying to make the holidays perfect.
I am most definitely not writing this to make you feel bad about wanting to have a great Thanksgiving, and give loads of gifts to your kids for Christmas, and indulge in all the food, but I am writing it to remind us that the holidays aren’t just about that.
If I am being honest, whenever I start thinking about buying gifts for my family, Harry Potter pops into my head. Weird I know, but there is a point! Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, we are introduced to the Dursley family on their son Dudley’s 11th birthday. The scene opens and we soon learn that Dudley is the definition of spoiled and he goes on to throw a fit because he only has 36 presents and last year he had 37. The family calms his anxiety by telling him they will buy him more presents when they take him out for his birthday celebration! Every time I watch this movie I laugh hysterically because it is absolutely ridiculous, but in a strange way, has a very valid point.
While we may not be that dramatic over the holidays, the family was so quick to try and make everything right and perfect that they did whatever it took to make their son happy.
How many times do we do that? How many stores do we run to, to make sure we get the perfect gift? How many parties do we go to, to make sure we have the most interesting Instagram? How many times do we say yes to doing things even though we are completely overwhelmed and tired?
We get so caught up in perfection we forget that the absolute best memories people have around the holidays is never stuff, it is time; it is laughing and joking, it’s celebrating with one another, it is simply being.
My mum, Wonder Woman, as I fondly refer to her, always wanted our holidays to be perfect. Without fail every year, a meltdown would occur as to where the Christmas tree would fit in our tiny house, which extraordinary dinner to make, and which decorations we should hang. To this very day the most memorable holiday moment was one Christmas Eve when I was about 10, and everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong. Fast forward to 9 ’o clock that night, no presents wrapped and my poor mother standing at the kitchen counter making scrambled egg sandwiches for supper because her meticulously planned out Christmas Eve dinner never happened along with the house being a mess, the Christmas tree we had just gotten that morning, and she stood there and sobbed. My father, bless his heart, just stood with her and tried to be the calming reassuring voice that everything was going to be okay.
To this very day, every Christmas Eve we make scrambled egg sandwiches…to this very day.
The point being, that everything that could possibly go wrong, went wrong, but that is not what I remember. I remember sitting on the floor in the living room, laughing and watching movies. I remember eating silly sandwiches and being excited it was almost Christmas. I remember everything being absolutely perfect.
Friends, the holiday season is upon us. Whether or not you are a fan of the shopping, lights, toys, and gatherings…the focus should remain on the fact that it does not have to be perfect in your eyes. Usually, all the things that go wrong are what make it special in the first place.
Take time this season to enjoy what is around you. Enjoy your friends and family, enjoy celebrating Jesus, just enjoy. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself and others to be perfect, because if we look past that perfection, we will realize it is the little things that were perfect all along.