Holiday Reality Check

Fall is in full swing…well almost. I do live on the Gulf Coast, and summer is tenaciously trying to hang on.  At least we have probably had the last of the 90 degree heat for a while, so that signals that fall is indeed here…maybe…

And if I look at the newspaper ads or walk into any bog box store, I also know that Christmas is coming. I know that it is October, but December is just around the corner.

GASP!!

Last year, one of the blogs I follow posted a six week plan called “All Done by December 01” and I loved it. It was genius!  Six weeks to prepare for the season so that my family and I could enjoy it.  There is no down side.  So I marked all of the weeks on my calendar, and it starts tomorrow.

The blog’s creator has already sent out an email about managing expectations of the season. It was a long list of preconceived notions that people have about Christmas, and they are the stuff of every Christmas themed Hallmark movie or Martha Stewart craft special.

Hallmark movies are not reality, and I am not Martha Stewart. In fact, she sort of creeps me out.  So to expect a perfectly decorated home, beautiful scenes of reunion, epiphany, or newly budding romance, hand decorated cookies, and family portraits where even the dog looks happy, are out of the realm of possibility.

There, I said it.

In fact, it is time to take a reality check about the entire holiday season. In another post from this same blog, the author talks about the stuff offered for Halloween, right down to soap dispensers.  I love Halloween and fall and Thanksgiving and Christmas, but do I really need all of that?  Better yet, where I am going to store it on the off season?  If you have the time and space for that – great!  But I don’t, and my guys are good with decorations that we have had for years and just love, and mason jars full of candy corn for added fun.  This is my season of life right now, and I need simple.

And considering that my cross country season just ended, and my son’s broadcast season is still in full swing, I’m feeling pretty good about having that much decorating done.

So I think it is time to stop beating ourselves up if our homes do not look like they could have appeared in Southern Living. It is time to stop spending hours on end preparing the perfect meal of items you have never eaten before and cost a ton to purchase, because it will just be a temporary thing.  No one will remember your perfect place setting.

But your family will remember the laughter, love, and fun traditions of the season, whatever they may be.

So don’t worry so much about being perfect – leave that to Martha Stewart.

Simply be present.

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