Christmas Wasn’t Perfect This Year

That’s right, Christmas wasn’t perfect this year and I am here to confess that I didn’t handle that with as much grace and acceptance as I would have liked.

The problem is that, in my mind, until this year every family Christmas we’ve ever had was absolutely perfect.  Most everybody came, everybody loved and appreciated one another, we loved being together.  We laughed. The house was warm and smelled good, and the sweet treats were delicious.  In the beginning our children were the little ones, now the grandchildren are the little ones, although most of them are refusing to remain little.  Again, IN MY MIND everything was perfect.  I can’t say how perfect it all REALLY was.  It’s quite possible it all existed only in my imagination.

I had good early warning that attendance wouldn’t be perfect this year, and I managed that disappointment by being grown up and reasonable about it,  reminding myself that these things are bound to happen occasionally.  It was okay.  And it was perfectly fine that we’d need to delay our celebration by one day.  I know that our children have other families to accommodate and I absolutely want them to do that.  Christmas on any day of the week is fine with me.  The joyful rituals proceeded: the buying, the wrapping, the baking, the secret name drawing.  Unfortunately my anticipation of perfection remained strong.

It all began to fall apart when one branch was stranded by the blizzard in Tulsa, and it looked like they might not make it on my pre-arranged schedule.  That was followed by the news that one set of my beloveds wasn’t coming because they didn’t feel that they could be in the company of another set of my beloveds.  There was a problem among them.  At CHRISTMAS???  When Beautiful Granddaughter was bringing a special someone to meet her relatives???  He’d surely think we were a sorry excuse for a family.

I’ll say it again, I didn’t handle it at all well.  In fact I threw a pretty good fit for about an hour.  Stomping about in the kitchen, amid tears and mutterings, I managed to spill stuff and break a Christmas dish.  Then I prepared to bake a cake, but somehow I put my fingers into the beaters and the mixer turned itself on, and there I was with fingers stuck and painfully twisted.  I hollered for THWAM, who came and released me, no permanent damage done.  Then, along with the throbbing came the knowledge that both I and my behavior were ridiculous.

Spirit never fails to help us see the truth, even if  a little physical pain is required to get our attention.

Christmas turned out fine, of course.  The Tulsa folks were late, but they got here.  The ones who chose not to come were missed.  The house was warm, and smelled good.  We loved one another, and we laughed.  Beautiful Granddaughter’s special someone seemed to have a good time, and we all enjoyed his company.  And the Twisted Fingers Cake was delicious.

I’m thinking differently about Christmas now.  It will never be perfect for me again, and that’s a good thing.  I’m even considering a Christmas cruise for THWAM and me for next year, which would release my poor family from having to try to meet my silly expectations.  But that probably won’t happen, I’ll be wanting whatever kind of Christmas we can patch together, and I’ll love it.

It just won’t be perfect.

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Family … the we of me.                               Carson McCullers

Everyone had an uncle who tried to steal their nose.       Peter Kay

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This entry was posted on Monday, December 28th, 2009 at 5:25 pm and is filed under Things to Think About. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Christmas Wasn’t Perfect This Year”

  1. I, Rodius on December 28th, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    We’re sorry we missed it, though it wasn’t because of the presence of any other of your beloveds. We’ll see you soon, though! Merry Unperfect Christmas!

  2. Aerie on December 28th, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    A beautiful thing is never perfect. Christmas at the “old folk’s” has always been beautiful. We’re sorry we could not come, but we know we were exactly where we needed to be. You’ll receive official thank yous, but please tell THWAM the books he sent were priceless! And the supplies helped inspire me to finish cleaning my scrap-booking corner. Baby books to come! On the theme of perfection, I’ll leave you with a bit from Winston Churchill: “They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you practice makes perfect. I wish they’d make up their minds.”