In the shopping mall, or in the parking lot adjacent to the mall, as we approach Christmas Day the intensity increases in almost geometric proportions. In other words, it can get pretty nasty out there. Not with everyone, and not to astronomic levels, but on average the anxiety index goes up as we near the big day. And, if you are one who believes that welcoming the New Year is the second most important day of the year, then the stress will last until sometime in January. There are moments, perhaps days, when the stress dissipates, allowing joy to sneak past the barriers of hurry and rush, bringing forth that smile for which we all search. Why are all of us so determined to self-inflict stress, drama, anxiety, and heartache into the holiday season? Could it be our unnatural, yet all-encompassing need for perfection? Everything needs to be just right. The need for “right” usually isn’t even for us; it not an “about me” complex that rules the emotional landmines cluttering the shopping, cooking, and decorating scheduled for today. No, we need everything to be just right for everyone else. It is the giving part of our celebration which provides such amazing joy and unprecedented weariness in the same instant; it’s the Yin and Yang of Christmas. I say it is time to keep the Ying (amazing joy) and throw out the Yang. I am promoting the idea that not being perfect is okay. Imperfection is the pavement on the road to happiness.
It’s okay if the outside lights are not perfect; if they don’t light up your front yard as bright as a super nova.
It’s okay if the tablecloth in the dining room has a few wrinkles.
It’s okay if you didn’t find the exact shirt that your son wanted as a Christmas gift.
It’s okay if the bow you tied on your Mom’s gift is a little lopsided.
It’s okay if, after a hard day at work, you don’t want to shop tonight. Stay at home and get some rest.
It’s okay, because of your personal finances, that you cannot buy a gift for everyone this year that you did last year.
It’s okay if the turkey is a little dry. The gravy is tasty.
Grab a cup of tea and spend time experiencing the tree you spent so long decorating. Turn off the alarm on Saturday and get some needed sleep. The people who you love, love you. They think the lights are great, the tree is beautiful, and the gifts are exactly what they want. In your “imperfection” they see beauty, love, and generosity. So does God.
Thanks for reading.