Organizing an Imperfect Holiday

Posted by Lisa Higdon, Professional Organizer on December 10, 2012  /   Posted in Blog

Wow! December 10th! Chanukah is already here, and Christmas is just two weeks away. I’ve been on a break from writing Clear Thoughts because I was trying to get my website upgraded. I thought it would be a one or two week break, but it has turned out to be seven weeks! That is way too long, and I’m going to tell you why it happened. I WAS BEING A PERFECTIONIST! was down for about a week because someone was working on it for me. When it came back up, it was not all I had hoped it would be. I didn’t write because I didn’t want anyone to see the website as it was. It is still not where I want it to be, but I had to make the decision. I had to bite the bullet and just let it be seen. For today, it is good enough.

This is quite relevant to Organizing and Planning; especially at this time of year. We worry about perfection. We worry about tradition. We worry our children’s expectations – even our adult children. We are often afraid of disappointing others.

Do you try to bake every single kind of cookie that mom used to make? Do you beat yourself up if you don’t get it done? What about decorating the house? I decorate our fireplace mantle in a way that I think is quite festive. However, yesterday I saw a pinterest photo of a fireplace all decked out that was just amazing. Of course that got me thinking, “Hmm…. Maybe I can up my game.” Those magazine and tv divas, and yes, even mom, can make us feel very inadequate.

Let me tell you a secret. The divas have staff; and your mom was probably exhausted.

Right now we are fast approaching panic time. I have exactly nothing done. That’s unusual for me; but this year is unusual. Until just yesterday, I have had no kitchen sink, water, or counters for about two months. I’ve left my salaried job, so the irregular income makes it harder to get the gift buying done. But – taking a deep breath – I’ve decided to let it go.

For the past three years I’ve hosted the family – 20 plus people – for Christmas dinner. I love it! This year my sister expressed an interest in hosting in her new home. I hesitated. Isn’t it tradition to have it here? Can I let go of this? When I decided that the answer is YES, I truly relaxed. For some freeing reason it changed my whole mindset. I not only let dinner go, I’ve decided to edit some other things too.

Everything important will be done. Every detail will not be magazine perfect. It never will be. It never should be. You and your family, your home, and your circumstances – are ever growing and changing. Your traditions and celebrations can change to reflect this. By rethinking our definition of perfect, we can truly enjoy the holidays with our family and friends. Perfect is the wonderful feeling created by the time well spent with family and friends.

Happy Holidays!

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