What is the Perfect Holiday?

stressed out over the perfect holiday

What is the perfect holiday? Are you stressed from trying to recreate a perfect holiday so that your family can have cherished memories?

You’re not alone!

It’s ok to admit it and join in the group. Hi, my name is Barb and every time I see one more perfect image of the perfect holiday, I feel, well, I feel a little….inadequate. I don’t live near anything that resembles this scene from the LL Bean catalogue. I’d like to visit it, of course, but the last time I cut down my own tree, was a long long time ago.

Are you brave enough to admit that you’re one of us, the brave and fearless women who will turn themselves into a nicely wrapped, if not frazzled bow to create holiday memories for the family.

Of course you are!  Come on, who doesn’t look at the beautifully photographed holiday catalogues that arrive like Christmas elves every few days starting in late October and think about going out to buy whatever it is they’re selling to help create the “magic.”
Perfectly photographed doesn’t equal happy…..or real!

Gosh, don’t those people in magazines look so happy in their sweaters and scarfs sitting on a sleigh with perfectly groomed trees dusted with snow in the background? And then those table settings! They’re just too perfect and aspirational. I don’t see a water spot anywhere or a stain on the table runner that has fresh greenery that’s had all the sap, bird poop and other natural elements steam cleaned.

And where’s the kids who spill juice on the carpet, or the cranky older relative who’s been wearing the same flannel shirt for years and years, and years?  Where are the real people in these catalogues?

Now this is a real family. Come on Dad!  We just want to take 1 family photo!  Get off the couch and get involved. Alright showing up 5-50%.  He showed up.

from woman's day a family trying for the perfect holiday

Don’t you just love this mom? I saw this in Women’s Day. She’s trying and so are the girls. They’re all in cute matching PJs in front of the tree, but couldn’t get Dad quite on board. At least he’s in the photo.

Do you just love the holidays?

Maybe not so much. Turns out, lots of us overburdened and overworked moms are “living in the moment” which translates to being completely overwhelmed with our regular, daily life, thank you very much. We are not only, not ready for the holidays, we may also be in complete denial that they are going to be here in a few short weeks.

What is the perfect holiday?

If you’ve been too busy working at a job and then working at your other job (your family) and haven’t had any time to be out and about in the real world  which means “the mall,” you may not have noticed but, the holiday decorations went up in October!   Weeks and weeks ahead. And Thanksgiving this year, finish the family meal, the family time, clean up the kitchen and then you can go……shopping and get a jump on the craziness on Friday.

When I think about The Holidays, that means Thanksgiving and turkey and gravy and who is coming? And then, it means Christmas and getting the decorations down from the attic and prepping……Whoa, hold on. I’m already overwhelmed.

Back to the catalogues

Oh, am I the only one who feels inadequate when I see cover photos evoking a blissfully peaceful family gathering with a crackling fire, happy contented people and mugs of cocoa.  Really?  When I see those photos, I think about how much work it takes to make those images come to life and actually happen in my own family.

First, you have to have enough milk to make cocoa, and enough chocolate, then are we really out of whipped cream?  And, then what about the robes and pajamas? Are they really appropriate for a group setting? A fire? Does that mean I should clean out the grill first, so the old stuff in there doesn’t catch fire and, by the way, how do you open up the flue? That is what it’s called right?

It’s a lot of extra work to make those picture perfect memories

I love having people over and I love this time of year, I really do, I just need to step back and refocus on what’s really important. Yes, picture perfect memories are nice, but I think I’ll skip them this year. I’m going to go for messy and real and fun!

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