Blog

No Perfect Christmas
Monday, November 21, 2016 by Cathy Everitt

No Christmas was ever perfect. Even the first one in Bethlehem didn’t smell or look flawless. Giving birth is a messy business, especially in a barn. Those cows and sheep couldn’t have smelled like delicious turkey and dressing baking in the oven, either.

Maybe we can aim for fun memories, not perfect ones. The times we remember best are the mistakes. Our brains remember the imperfect better than the perfect. Maybe they’re wired this way so we can be alerted to danger.

We notice the empty spot on the tree instead of the dozens of colorful ornaments. We notice the tiny stain on the Christmas tablecloth, and not the beautiful red and green design. It’s natural, it’s human. It helps us notice the one car weaving across a yellow line on a highway. This noticing can be helpful in moderation.

But when we pressure ourselves to try to create an elusive, perfect Christmas, maybe we’re beating our heads against a wall. Earth and people and holidays are not perfect. They can be fun, though, and memorable.

We remember when our Christmas-morning hearts almost broke because the batteries didn’t work. We remember when the blankety-blank tree lights wouldn’t light and we had to run to Wal-Mart at midnight. 

My most memorable turkey was the first one I baked by myself.  When we cut into it, we found the paper packet of giblets and neck still inside. Nobody had told us those were in there and needed to come out. My clearest sweet potato memory involved an explosion in the oven.

People need love and encouragement and something we have no word for in English. The Dutch call it gezelligheid. I’m not sure how to pronounce it, but it’s what we all want for holidays. It’s the feeling one gets from peaceful, fun togetherness with family or friends.

I want to aim for gezelligheid, whether it’s with yummy food or just hot cocoa and a chat. People often don’t need my gifts as much as they need me. They need my loving attention and listening ear. I want to shop less and listen more. The gifts that cannot be unwrapped may be the best and most memorable. I want to give myself. These memories will never end up on a yard-sale table selling for 50 cents.

Share This Blog:


Subscribe to my list


Previous Posts

What keeps me safe?
Cathy Everitt
6/22/2021

Jan
Cathy Everitt
6/17/2021

The Treasure
Cathy Everitt
2/23/2021

(Don’t) Follow Your Heart?
Cathy Everitt
2/11/2021

What’s that smell?
Cathy Everitt
1/27/2021

This Moment
Cathy Everitt
1/14/2021

Do your curls, girls!
Cathy Everitt
1/6/2021

Forgotten Holiday Promise
Cathy Everitt
12/10/2020

The Flea and the Cosmos
Cathy Everitt
11/19/2020

Who’s Driving Me?
Cathy Everitt
11/12/2020

Safe and Sound
Cathy Everitt
6/24/2020

Patience
Cathy Everitt
2/27/2020

Holiday Loneliness?
Cathy Everitt
12/30/2019

Haunted? What a Shame.
Cathy Everitt
10/30/2019

What Are We Celebrating?
Cathy Everitt
7/3/2019

Where’s The Remote?
Cathy Everitt
6/24/2019

Post-Hurricane Prayer
Cathy Everitt
1/17/2019

Does God Celebrate?
Cathy Everitt
12/12/2018

What For?
Cathy Everitt
10/5/2018

Birthright?
Cathy Everitt
9/1/2018

Exclamation Points
Cathy Everitt
8/20/2018

Shaking?
Cathy Everitt
7/26/2018

Radiance, Not Wrinkles
Cathy Everitt
11/21/2017

Walkin' and Talkin'
Cathy Everitt
9/22/2017

Touches
Cathy Everitt
9/8/2017

The Worry List
Cathy Everitt
7/17/2017

Unanswered prayer?
Cathy Everitt
5/21/2017

Who's Your First Love?
Cathy Everitt
4/9/2017

Worse Than Sickness
Cathy Everitt
12/6/2016

The Highest Price
Cathy Everitt
11/28/2016

No Perfect Christmas
Cathy Everitt
11/21/2016

Sacrificing Thanks
Cathy Everitt
11/14/2016

The Director
Cathy Everitt
11/7/2016

Watching Dead People
Cathy Everitt
10/31/2016

Against The Goad
Cathy Everitt
10/24/2016

Eating His Words
Cathy Everitt
10/17/2016

Glory
Cathy Everitt
10/9/2016

What Does The Future Hold?
Cathy Everitt
10/4/2016

More Sweetness
Cathy Everitt
9/27/2016

Delicious Cycle Revisited
Cathy Everitt
9/20/2016

A Delicious Cycle
Cathy Everitt
9/13/2016

Winning and Losing
Cathy Everitt
9/6/2016

When I lose, I win
Cathy Everitt
8/30/2016

Sunrise
Cathy Everitt
8/23/2016

Impressions of Amsterdam
Cathy Everitt
8/16/2016

Sing 'Til I'm Satisfied
Cathy Everitt
8/8/2016

Ever-Increasing
Cathy Everitt
7/26/2016

Corrie
Cathy Everitt
7/11/2016

Favorites?
Cathy Everitt
6/28/2016

I love reminders from these guys...
Cathy Everitt
6/14/2016

How Can I Help?
Cathy Everitt
6/7/2016

A Perfect Flower
Cathy Everitt
5/31/2016