No, actually, we don't. In fact, that's recipe for disaster that will guarantee that you have everything BUT the perfect Christmas. Today I'd like to cordially invite you to let go of that nonsense and accept a fact that's always been true, but I hope will sink in this crazy holiday season: your best is good enough this Christmas. Heck, your best is good enough always. You must accept this, or you'll drive yourself insane and for what? Memories? But the holidays come back around every year. Trust me, you'll have a chance for a redo in 2021. And 2022. And 2023. Lord willing, as long as you live, you get redos on the holidays.
I know, you never know who won't be here next year. I didn't dream a year ago that I'd be spending my last Thanksgiving and Christmas with Dad, but here we are. And I'm making it a day at a time. Some things are the same. Some aren't. This is life. But one thing is constant: I'm doing my best, and it's good enough. It will have to be. You can't get anything else out of me, and I'm not going to wear myself out over it. It's not worth it. I learned last summer what was worth it and let me tell you: I found that a lot of things I worked myself up in a tizzy for were wasted energy that I should have spent enjoying the blessings I had.
So with that hard lesson firmly in mind, let's admit a few things. No, Christmas 2020 won't be like every other Christmas we've known. It's been a bad year, and we're all grieving some sort of loss this holiday season. Whether it's a person, a circumstance, a job, a thing, or just the way of life we were used to, we've all lost things this year. It's a universal truth. So why don't we be kind to ourselves and trash the unrealistic expectations for once? You don't have to have it all or do it all - heck, it all isn't all it was anyway! Start with the basics: what's most important? Ok, do that.
Thanksgiving was scaled back this year, but it was still nice. Will we remember it in five years? Maybe, maybe not. And that's another thing about the holidays. We stress over making them perfect, but when we look back, doesn't everything jumble together? It does for me. The only holidays that I remember by year are when somebody died in December, and nobody wants to go there (so we won't). Suffice it to say that the warm holiday memories rarely have a specific date that remains in mind. You remember "that time" but can you name the day of week, date and time? Maybe you can. I can't. Some more recent things stick, but they fade in time. I can't tell you the year I got my first Kindle, from the year I visited a Masonic lodge with Rick for the first time, from the year we saw the lights at the zoo, from the year we had the Sunday School party at that fancy Italian restaurant, to the year we hosted the Christmas party and Zack tried to eat our friend's cake, to the year the CW had their first crossover event with all the superheros, from the years they released The Lord of the Rings and the Star Wars movies, to the year that people actually came to our house to celebrate Christmas - you get the point. We enjoyed them all, but we didn't do them all in one year. It's been building up over a lifetime.
And so it shall continue. If this is a simple Christmas, then so be it. I'm sure some good memories will come from it. Perhaps scaling back will make you realize what you appreciate most. Perhaps it will help you see the meaning of the season better. Perhaps letting up on yourself is the perfect gift that you truly need this year.
Lord knows, I'm not trying to be a humbug. Actually, it's the exact opposite: I'm encouraging you to fully embrace the blessings that remain in this crazy year as they are, not as you think they should be. One universal thing we all want for Christmas is peace and joy. Well, guess what? You can have it. The thing is, you can't force it. We think we have to work for everything, but peace and joy are gifts that we can only receive. And you receive it by accepting and appreciating the blessings you have.
You can't make Christmas; you can only accept it's true meaning in your heart, and live it in the truth you have.
That's all today. Take care, and have a great week.