This post first appeared on HerKentucky in 2012; today felt like a nice day to repost it.
I like perfection.
If things are in their place, we're all happier and more productive, right? Why have a bookshelf when you can have a color-coded bookshelf? And, if every tree is perfect, every serving dish is perfectly chosen, every decoration is perfectly spaced, then we'll all have the happiest Christmas ever, right?
Well, at least that's how I've always seen it. In my head, the holidays take on a Martha Stewart meets Southern Living meets Pinterest air of forced perfection. I want things just so, damn it. I choose a color and a theme for each holiday season, and I like to stick to it. My Christmas cards match my tree which matches the presents. It just looks so nice that way.
This weekend, I was putting up the tree when I realized I'd spent a full hour fluffing branches and positioning lights. To be fair, the tree looked amazing but, you know, there still weren't any ornaments. And then I undertook the Great Wrapping The Ribbon Around the Tree Incident of 2012. We shan't speak of it.
My beau, God bless him, often tries to gently remind me that the holidays can never be as perfect as I envision them. Every day of December can't look like the L.L. Bean catalog, he reminds me, and every day (much to his delight and my chagrin) doesn't come with a Michael Bublé holiday soundtrack. And all I do is wear myself out trying to make it so.
Recently, I was going through some photos of Christmases at my great-grandparents' house. They had six kids, including my paternal grandmother. By all accounts, Christmas was a big crazy party with lots of family, food, and fun. As I looked at these pictures, it didn't stand out to me that they didn't have a ton of money. It didn't matter what people wore or what dishes they ate from. They looked... happy. They were genuinely glad to be with each other on Christmas. It wasn't forced or overproduced. It was a holiday with family. And that was enough.
Now, I'm not exactly going to give away my beloved Spode Christmas china, nor am I taking down any of my many themed trees. But, this Christmas, I am going to try to slow down and enjoy the season. People and memories are more important than the perfectly decorated cookie. Maybe happiness is good enough.