It is impossible for us to be perfect, so the best course of action is to get off the hamster wheel of striving for perfection (in whatever area) and to focus on achieving an effective (and practical) approach to life in general. As this framework-of-an-attitude relates to the holidays, keep in mind that it is not important that our homes look like those in the magazines or those like our neighbors (or that our clothes or our bodies or our families look like whatever quintessential ideal (redundant?) we have in our heads). What is most important is to put forth the amount of effort that we are able to give and to accept what is as what is.
Any guilt or remorse that may try to creep into our mind and heart is not welcome. Achieving “perfection” may have been a way of life and a way of winning approval in our former lives, but it is not a healthy way to live going forward, and it certainly teaches misguided things to our children as we seek to instruct them in happy, healthy paths.
Other people may not get this yet—and one of the hardest things is to let go of those close to us who have not yet allowed their minds and hearts to be enlightened by grace and supernatural resting. But continuing to wallow in the guilt that we are used to wallowing in for not being perfect is a most negative and vicious cycle, and we will do well by ourselves if we break that cycle at first wind of it and choose instead to live a life of freedom and happiness and choice.
This holiday season, we will likely not get everything right. We might mess up on the food or get the wrong gift or fall short with the décor or not have the most preferred apparel. We might not have it all together and might still be working towards peace and coherency in our own lives. We might not have everything organized or planned out exactly, and we might not wake up in full swing of feeling the Christmas cheer. So what! That doesn’t mean that we can’t go forward anyway and give it our best shot nonetheless.
And nobody says that you can’t enjoy the season if you’re not rolling in riches. The holidays have a way of making us feel less-than since we often can’t buy everything we see and everything that everyone wants. We think to ourselves that if only we had more money, we could really have a nice Christmas. We need to stop that thinking right now. Christmas is not about money or things. Yes, it takes some money sometimes to do and have some things. But we will never enjoy the Christmas season if we can’t enjoy it anyway, with or without the amount of money we would prefer to have to make it the way we would prefer to have it (that is, as we ideally envision it, which is often more extravagant than it needs to be in the first place).
So resist the guilt that may come around, knocking on the door of your mind and heart. What counts is to say yes to the season, wherever you are, with whatever effort you’re able to give, with whatever resources you happen to currently have. Let go of everything else because to hold on to it is inviting discontent into your life and home, which is the opposite of what we are going for this Christmas season.