To my mind the only way in which a Christmas should be perfect is that everyone had a gloriously, deliciously good time full of laughter and joy and contentment…an possibly egg nog…or Mimosas…there could be mochas…  Ahem…where was I?  Oh yeah, perfect.  So one of the biggest killers of the Christmas spirit and spoiler of the holidays is perfectionism.  It either keeps us from trying because we know we can’t achieve it or has us running around putting every ounce into making things just perfect and so we and those around us have absolutely no means of enjoying anything.

Perfectionism takes the reason for the season out of the equation and exalts the form of everything.  If it looks good, comes out right, makes the right picture and sends the right message, then success!  So what about the mangled feelings, the disregarded boundaries, the meta message that no one else matters?  What’s important is that everything is perfect!

In my experience the best Christmas’s are those that find spare moments to pay attention to detail in between all the fun that is being had.  Shopping becomes less of a chore and more about anticipation.  Decorating becomes and expression of relationship and connection and personality and less about making the right impression or meeting expectations.  Things that don’t go as planned become great stories and lead us down paths we didn’t know existed.  The holiday can be an adventure of exploration if we allow it, an organic thing which unfolds as we participate in it rather than a formal structure we are forced to inhabit.

So let go of perfectionism and live the holidays.  In a few weeks no one is going to care about all the finicky details (unless they are hypercritical nitpickers and them you should either gag and decorate as a Christmas elf with those shoes and wig from the Santaland Diaries or you should send them off to pick nits elsewhere), but they sure as heck will keep the memories of joy and laughter and fun for a lifetime.