Stressed Out About the Holidays? Keep This in Mind for a "Perfect" Holiday Season by Ann Marie Patitucci

6 years ago

Stressed Out About the Holidays? Keep This in Mind for a "Perfect" Holiday Season

The holidays may be the season of Santa, sleigh bells and snowmen, but this is also a season of stress for many. There are high expectations, long to-do lists and not nearly enough time, money or energy to accomplish it all. After 12 years of motherhood, I don’t even attempt to do it all! 

I carefully choose which events we go to, because we couldn’t possibly attend them all. We’ve scaled down our gift giving, too, because that’s not what the season is about. And I don’t cook or bake nearly as much as society suggests I should! We can all cut down, scale back and de-stress in our own ways so we can actually enjoy the holidays. 

Did you know that the term holiday means a period of exemption from work and duties? Then surely the holidays shouldn't feel like work! Let’s reclaim them! We can start by letting go of our own unrealistic expectations and obsession with perfection. This has been an important (and ongoing) lesson for me. One year, many Christmases ago, I put my son and my parents’ pug, Ronnie, into Santa costumes and desperately tried to get the perfect shot. But it wasn’t meant to be. The result: a perfectly imperfect, comical and treasured family photo, especially since Ronnie has since passed away. I suspect that if the photo had turned out “perfectly,” it wouldn’t be among our favorites. 

So this year, let’s aim for perfectly imperfect and enjoy a break from work and duties. Let’s be in the moment with our loved ones this holiday season and focus on what really matters. I suspect it’s not the number of events we attend, the number of baked goods we bake, or the price tag on the gifts we give.

This piece is dedicated to the memory of Ronnie Gardinier, beloved family pug. xoxo

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Donna John
Yes! We are doing this in our family this year. Low-key. Less gifts. More time together and less stressing over money, the right gift, etc. My thought is make the whole year special, then you don't have to cram it all into a couple weeks in December. Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
Elisa Schmitz
What a wonderful perspective, Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead ! You are so right. Why do we take all the joy from the holidays by trying to make them “perfect,” when imperfect is what life is about? Love the photo and the story behind it! RIP Ronnie!! ❤️
Ann Marie Patitucci
Thanks, Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds ! I'm certainly a work in progress in this regard, but I'm trying!
Nancy Dafoe
Ann Marie, You're so right about that "perfect" picture. The best photos are often the disasters that we laugh and cry over for years. #30Seconds

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