Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Perfect Holiday Doesn't Exist

It is that time of year again when we all gather around a humongous feast and eat way too much and see people we haven't seen in years. The holiday season brings tidings of peace and joy and a fair amount of unresonable expectations which leads to increased holiday stress and anxiety. Families have grown up with the perfect holiday gathering etched in their heads. We can't help but expect a serene and beautiful holiday experience. But Timmy will throw mashed potatoes at his sister and grandpa will take out his teeth to remove a sesame seed, thus grossing out all the teens at the table, and probably some adults too. There are those people that will laugh way too loud, or drink just a little too much holiday cheer and make a pass at their sister in law or spend the evening crying over the burned yams.
This is what holidays are really like. MESSY! To expect a perfect holiday is like expecting Santa and all 8 reindeer to drop by in full view of the kids and sign an autograph before taking off for the next stop. Do yourself a favor and try to remember the messiest and least scripted experiences are probabaly the ones you will treasure long after they are gone. These are the things people will talk about for years to come, even when the offending family member has long since passed on. These are what makes life special and memorable. Enjoy the mess. Enjoy the dog running off with the Christmas ham. Yes, enjoy Uncle Harry's "pull my finger" gag.
The mystery of life and the magic of the holidays in captured in the unexpected and spontaneous moments yet to come. Do your best to enjoy the time with your freinds and family without expecting them to be "well behaved and polite". Enjoy finding out just who they really are and watching them enjoy being with you. Be thankful for a happy and healthy family that has enough this year to have a place to sit and food to eat.
Celebrate the unique symphony that is your family in full holiday swing. Kids, take a few pictures while you are at it. You never know when you may need backmail material!
Happy Thanksgiving and save me a turkey leg!

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