Letting Go of Perfectionism

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How to have a holiday that’s perfect for you

 Whether it’s the turkey or the table decorations, most of us have an image of what our holidays should look like. Because it’s “the holidays” we want everything to be perfect. Ironically, that desire actually prevents us from having the holidays we want.

Holiday perfectionism often comes from not having your own standards of “good enough.” With everyone from HGTV to the evening newscaster telling you what your holiday table should look like and how to make the perfect pie, it’s hard to know what’s realistic. And more importantly, what you really care about.

Imagine that your family lives on another planet. For your holidays you can have any people, foods, decorations, and activities you want (but no servants–you still have to do the work yourself!). You can also eat Spam out of a can and watch sports all day and no one would know or judge. Would you spend three hours making a pie from scratch? Three days decorating the house?

Talk with your family about what they most enjoy about the holidays, and build your activities around that. Eliminate other people’s “shoulds.” If you love eating but don’t like cooking, don’t feel guilty about ordering a pre-cooked Thanksgiving dinner. If you hate cleaning up pine needles for weeks, have a fake tree (or gasp, no tree at all!). If playing games with your kids all day makes your children feel cherished, don’t trade that for shopping and cooking –a re-gifted present and a store-bought pie will be just fine for a holiday party.

Letting go of perfectionism means you don’t need to defend your decisions. It means you’ve realized there is no such thing as a “perfect holiday.” So relax and enjoy a holiday season that’s perfect for you and your family. 

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