What happens if you're not able to bring that idealized version of holiday "cheer" to fruition? Do you feel disappointed, depressed, lacking in ability or creativity? The version that we see on TV -- everyone smiling, not a hair out of place, children obedient, generations coexisting peacefully, everything staged down to the last detail -- who decided this was the template for all to aspire to?
Now I'm not writing this to bring you down but to suggest that perhaps the emphasis on "perfection" is a core issue here.
We are human, and humans are inherently imperfect, as are our experiences. Not to mention the fact that you can't control others or their actions. What if we just decided to do our best and let that be good enough? Or perhaps "roll with it" and see what happens?
Someone once said that "Expectations are disappointments waiting to happen." Perhaps we need to live more in the moment and enjoy the journey rather than projecting unachievable outcomes. That's not to say that we can't set goals or practice creative visualization -- but don't be attached to the specific way that we get there. Sometimes it's the unexpected, the funny blunder, the eccentric or the glitch that's the most fun and memorable.
Practice seeing each other and ourselves as "perfectly imperfect" through the eyes of love, understanding and compassion. It seems to me that that comes closer to the true meaning of the holiday season -- as well as every season.
CONTACT JANET BERG to suggest topics for this column: firstname.lastname@example.org.