Although this insight is aimed at people celebrating Christmas, whatever your religion, this insight is one that can apply to any special occasion.
It’s easy to get frustrated and overwhelmed when preparing for Christmas. Every year we start off with an image in our head of the perfect Christmas. So, how can you make the most of Christmas, rather than be preoccupied with everything (and everyone) not living up to your expectations of how it should be? It should snow? Everyone should be happy? Everyone should go to church? Whatever it is that is there for you.
In reality, no one can control the weather or has the time and energy to do all the things that create your picture perfect Christmas. The key to overcoming unrealistic ideals is to identify where your picture comes from and how that gets in the way of you having a great Christmas. Once you understand that those ideals are not of your own making, you can start to create your perfect day based on what is really important to you.
Want to avoid the pitfall of “perfection seeking” and have a relaxing and enjoyable Christmas? Ask yourself these three simple questions:
What’s your picture of the ‘perfect’ Christmas? Get clear on the picture in your head that you’re trying to live up to. Maybe it is providing a Christmas dinner like your mum did when you where a child, a house that’s impeccably and tastefully decorated? Or maybe it is your children being charming and well behaved with no disagreements? Think about what perfect means to you.
Where did that picture come from? Maybe it’s from a film where everyone is singing Christmas songs around the piano. Or, it is snowing and you are playing snowballs and building a snowman. Are you aiming for “A Christmas Carol” or other Christmas pictures painted in your head by other books? Are you trying to keep up with the friend you admire? Once you realise this picture isn’t something you created, you are free to create your own version now, in the present. This is where the last question comes into play.
What’s really important to you? Maybe it is not about the snow or how many presents you get. Maybe it is about family and friends spending time together, guests feeling welcome in your home, everyone feeling appreciated and special. Maybe your special Christmas is about being relaxed and having fun. Create your own theme and when Christmas is underway, keep that theme front and center. Theme suggestions might be: fun, relaxation, appreciation or anything that truly inspires you.
Come up with a theme that expresses what gets to the heart of what Christmas is for you. Let that guide you. Anytime you notice you’re getting upset or annoyed, stop and ask yourself, “to be true to that theme, what would I do or say right now?”
Let your theme, such as appreciation, be your guide when it comes to planning what you will and will not do to prepare for Christmas. This will help you stay grounded and present during Christmas. The point is to connect with people – having them know you care, being gracious, whatever is important to you. Truly focus on the things that really matter to you and practice accepting Christmas and yourself, exactly as they are. You’ll see that not so perfect can really be, perfect.