It’s Christmas Eve and I’ve stolen a few quiet moments, having just dispatched P off with both children to deliver Christmas cards to our neighbours. All is quiet and peaceful (for the next seven minutes or so, anyway).
I wanted to take this moment to thanks all of my lovely readers for taking the time to follow, read and comment on my blog. It really means the world to me and I’m so grateful.
I’d also like to wish you all a Gloriously Imperfect Christmas.
This may sound like a less than appealing toast to you, but I want it to act as an anchor and a reminder to us. At this time of year and more than ever, Facebook would have us believe that every person we know is living their dream life. Impeccably behaved and immaculately dressed children greet us warmly whenever we consult our smart phones. Homes seemingly worthy of double page spreads in lifestyle magazines may cause us to look around at the dust under the sofa and the smudgy handprints on the windows, not to mention the crayon on the walls. How come everyone else is living a perfect life?
The thing is….they’re not.
Social media shows the edited version of our lives. That beautiful Christmas tree you saw online? The one with the gorgeously matching adornments and little silver bows? It looked like that for twenty seconds, max. In reality, anyone with small children will find that by now a third of the ornaments from the tree are on the highest branches only and the remainder all over the house . The most commonly uttered phrase at this time of year for parents of under-fours? “HOW MANY MORE TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU NOT TO TOUCH THE TREE?!!!!”
Hours of shopping, wrapping and spending will be unveiled tomorrow morning and it will hopefully be magical for all. But in reality, kids will start bickering before long. There may be family quarrels, broken toys and definitely missing batteries. Chefs will get stressed, food may get burned. Someone will usually be sent off to find cranberry sauce in a petrol station. Gorgeous little Christmas outfits will have chocolate smears over them before photos are taken and children will get bored and restless despite Santa’s generosity.
But you see, all of these things make Christmas special. The squabbling with your brother despite the fact that you’re both in your thirties? All part of the tradition. These moments happen in all families and yet are somehow unique to us all. We all have our own set of customs and characteristics which define Christmas memories of past, present and the future.
It doesn’t matter if there aren’t enough chairs or the turkey is dry. What matters is noticing the magical moments within the festive mayhem, making memories with the ones you love.
Expecting perfection will probably result in mild disappointment at best. Comparing your life with someone’s filtered Facebook pictures may well leave you disheartened. There’s no such thing as a perfect Christmas, or a perfect anything for that matter. I think it’s best to welcome that from the beginning and embrace the inevitable pandemonium that the festive season brings.
So this year, I’m wishing you a Gloriously Imperfect Christmas. With lots and lots of love from me and mine to you and yours.
ps… that’s a picture of our tree. I replaced the ornaments specially and if you look very closely, you can see some blue crayon scribbled on the wall to its’ left. Marvellous!