I do not have a perfect Christmas tree. My decorations aren’t colour coordinated. There is no theme – unless you can call a hodge-podge of homemade decorations a theme.
I must admit – every once in a while I look at the perfectly curated trees others share on social and think that maybe this is the year I should get a “grown up” tree. But then, I start pulling out the decorations my kids made when they were little, or the ones from the big bag of decorations my sister got me one year – and I think – not this year.
As we dive into the holiday season, it’s all too common to find ourselves caught in the trap of comparison and self-judgement. We scroll through social media, we get sucked into yet another Hallmark movie, and suddenly our own celebrations pale in comparison.
Our family doesn’t look as happy. There are people missing from around the table. The turkey is dry. The gravy has lumps. There are food allergies and preferences that means adapting favourite recipes or preparing something new and different.
But here’s the thing – our joy in this season doesn’t have to be dictated by – or look like – the carefully curated snapshots we see online or by nostalgic memories of holidays past. The magic of the season lies in embracing the imperfect, finding joy in the small moments, and letting go of the need for perfection.
1. Embrace the Beautiful Chaos
Let’s face it, holidays are messy. There might be a stray ribbon on the floor, the cookies might not look like the ones on Instagram, and the family photo might include a few goofy expressions. And you know what? That’s perfectly okay. In fact, it’s beautiful. Embrace the chaos, and you’ll find joy in the authenticity of the moment.
2. Rewrite Your Holiday Narrative
Instead of comparing this year’s celebrations to some idealized version from the past, focus on creating new, meaningful traditions. Whether it’s a quirky family game, a spontaneous dance party, or a cozy movie night, the joy of the holidays is in the experiences you share, not the perfection of the setting.
3. Release the Pressure
Give yourself the gift of letting go. Release the pressure to meet unrealistic expectations, whether they come from society, family, or your own inner critic. When you let go of judgment, you create space for genuine joy to enter.
The holidays are opportunities to create connection, gratitude, and love. When we choose joy over judgment, you’ll find that the true magic of the season lies in the beautifully imperfect moments you share with your loved ones.
Are there any “imperfect” traditions or memories of “imperfect” holiday events that bring you joy and that you wouldn’t change – even if you had the chance to make them “perfect”? If so, I’d love to hear about them!