Let Your Good Enough Be Splendid This Year

Vintage Christmas LabelVintage Label compliments of the graphics fairy

It’s Cyber Monday and the second day of Advent. The boys are wondering where their Lego Advent calendars are. Apparently we, meaning me, was supposed to acquire those. Our tree is in the stand but looks stark naked and pathetic. I don’t feel like venturing into the attic and dragging all the boxes of decorations down. The car wouldn’t start yesterday and our afternoon plans to decorate the house were forfeited in favor of acquiring a new battery and watching football recovering from our Thanksgiving adventures. Sigh.

I braved the Post Office this morning to mail my mother’s birthday gift and wouldn’t you know it, there was Sally Superstar, with two huge boxes of already-wrapped gifts bound for Syracuse. I know, right? I only glared at her once. Maybe twice. But that’s because I was coveting the Starbucks cup sitting the counter beside her gynormous stack of gifts.

 I feel a case of the Christmas crazies closing in. Apparently I have one small portion of my brain still devoted to clear, rational thought, because on my way back to the car I heard Beth Moore say, “What if we awakened to what a dream-killer perfectionism is?” I looked around for Beth, because surely she isn’t hanging out in suburbia today. Nope. No Beth. Only me and my thoughts as I raced on to my next errand. That one phrase got under my skin. Instead of checking my email at the next traffic light, I thought about what perfectionism is already doing to the Advent season. A sense of failure robs us of our joy before we’ve finished the leftover turkey. Then we battle the need to spend beyond our means to please … who, exactly? Before the last Advent candle is even lit, we’re exhausted and longing for the conclusion of this harried season.

We’re wrapping up Beth Moore’s Esther study this month and perfectionism is a minor theme weaved throughout the lessons. I’m thinking Esther had bigger issues than holiday home decor. Just sayin’. But one of the lesser themes Beth emphasizes in the study is that Esther didn’t let perfectionism and/or others’ expectations prevent her from taking action in ways that were true to her calling. Contrary to what I’ve muttered under my breath on more than one occasion, I’m not the one that makes Christmas happen. Let’s be real. Christmas isn’t really about me at all.

So I’m putting aside these (self-imposed) expectations of what Christmas should look like in our house and embracing the possibility that “good enough” just might be splendid.

Sarah Powers has a great post over at Huffington today about holiday traditions and the myth that it’s our responsibility as mothers to make those traditions happen.

Your turn: how do you find the balance between celebrating Christmas in a meaningful fashion versus ‘making everything perfect’ ?


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