A Good Enough Christmas
I guess we all feel differently about the holidays.
Jessawhy said a few weeks ago, “I was so excited. While I was driving, I found the Christmas station. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet.”
When I heard the Christmas station, I thought, “NO! Christmas station, go away! It’s not time for you to make me feel guilty yet!”
I was talking to a family member, and she said, “I don’t hate Christmas. I just feel hopeless about them.”
That’s exactly how I feel about Christmas.
It’ll probably be a disaster.
You see, I can’t decorate, can’t make crafts, can’t get a Christmas card out before Martin Luther King, Jr Day because I get myself all worked up that nothing is going to look right, which makes me so overwhelmed that I don’t know where to start, so I wait until the last minute, and well, when you wait until the last minute to plan, nothing looks right (how’s that for a run-on!). I end up feeling mean and crabby until January 2nd when the completely self-imposed pressure is off.
Last year, I realized this probably wasn’t normal. I mean, why would the rest of the Christian world continually shift into over-drive year after year to get this holiday done if SOMEONE SOMEWHERE wasn’t getting some pleasure from it.
So, for the holidays this year, I got myself a little therapy and have decided that I need to learn to buck up and enjoy the holidays (because really, there’s no need to feel this way. My life is seriously, so blessed.) .
This year, the CC family is going to have a Good Enough Christmas. Things aren’t going to be perfect they’re going to be good enough. And, we’ll all enjoy it, darn it.
Here’s how we’ve been celebrating our “Good Enough” holiday season:
1. Christmas Card Photo: This is one of our top 2 Christmas photos for the Christmas card. How did we pick the top 2? They’re the only photos that have the kids looking in the same general direction.
Every year, I want a family picture with haircuts, new outfits, a professional photographer, and a killer background (um, I’ve never actually gotten all these things done, just wished I had). This year, after dinner one night, we dressed the kids in Sunday clothes, put on our pajamas, and took photos of just the kids because, well, they’re the cutest of our bunch.
Since we didn’t have any Christmas traditions (after almost 10 years of marriage), I figured we ought to. A gingerbread house sounded like a great idea, but in my house, a gingerbread train would be much more appropriate.
I would have been so ornery if I had spent time baking the gingerbread, making the icing, and buying the candy because our Christmas train decorating night ended up consisting of me putting together the train while my toddler put candy in his mouth by the fistfuls, my preschooler poured colored sugar in his hand and licked it up over and over again all while my husband watched football. (This was my finest moment in maintaining a Good Enough Christmas. I didn’t yell at anyone. Rock on, me!)
I thought it wouldn’t feel like Christmas, but now, I don’t have to vacuum needles all season long. And, I don’t worry about our house going up in flames because the tree is completely dried out 3 days after buying it (gotta love a Phoenix Christmas).
Our tree is crooked, the ornaments are all discarded from our moms, and my kids have already broken 9 of them. But, it’s up, and if you squint and turn your head a bit to the left, it looks more than Good Enough.
I never make crafts because I don’t think they look good. This year, I’ve decided to make one just for the joy of making something…even if it’s not done until February and it still won’t look quite as good as anything many of my friends could whip up in an hour.
So, my experiment is going well (even the therapy, but that’s a whole other post), and we’ll keep doing these Christmassy things. I’ve just changed my criteria. Instead of shooting for perfect, I’m just trying to enjoy what we’re doing and not worry about the outcome.
Enjoying them makes them Good Enough, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find out that while we’re doing things Good Enough, there are unexpected happy moments. And, it’s in those moments that Christmas feels more than Good Enough. It feels happy.
How do you feel about the holidays? What are your tricks for a Good Enough Christmas?