Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Perfect Christmas

What makes a perfect Christmas?  Is it a room decorated like it was right out of a Pottery Barn catalog? Is it a table that looks as if it was created by Martha Stewart herself?

Photos from potterybarn.com and marthastewart.com.

It seems that I am always trying to make everything "perfect" for Christmas -- a beautifully decorated tree and house, lots of homemade goodies around to eat, just the right presents for everyone on my list, all perfectly wrapped in beautiful, color-coordinated paper and bows.

I make myself a little nuts striving for perfection and I'm sure I'm not the only one who falls into that "perfection trap". But the perfect Christmas doesn't have anything to do with decorations and wrapping paper. The perfect Christmas is all about the people we share it with. Having all three of my boys at home,  having my mother and sister come to celebrate with us and having my grandchildren here to remind us all of the wonder and joy of the holiday season -- that is what makes Christmas perfect.

So with our December focus being "Giving and Receiving", I'm asking you to give the first gift to yourself -- the gift of time, of putting aside striving for perfection and really enjoying this holiday season by putting the focus on family and friends and the love you are giving and receiving.

We invite you to share your December photos with us in the Flickr group and on Instagram at #focusingonlife. We will be sharing a collage of favorites each week on Instagram and a Flickr collage at the end of December as well. We hope you'll play along. We can't wait to see how you are making this Christmas "perfect"!

By the way, have you noticed the slideshow of Instagram photos in the right-hand colum? You can click on any one of the  photos and it will take you to that person's photostream. From there, you can click on #focusingonlife and it will take you to the last 40 photos posted using our hashtag. So much fun to see what everybody is posting!


Dotti said...

You're so right, Terri. Most gals I know, myself included, think it's their God-giving duty to make Christmas "perfect". We put all this extra stress on ourselves not because God expects it of us but because we expect it of ourselves. Too often it takes our hearts away from what the season is really all about: those we love.

Thanks for the reminder!

(And I love your little snowman!)

Dotti said...

S/b "God-given" - can't type this early in the morning.


Kim Stevens said...

Oh yes, those darn expectations....they are my downfall! I have to say that when I think about it, one of our more joyous Christmas's was the first year we moved here and our tree was in storage as we were in an apartment and our "tree" was a one foot table tree, complete with a tree skirt of course! ; ) And I did decorate the banister (we had a 2 story apartment), but perfect is really all relative to the situation we are in. I'm good at stressing over getting the decorations up, the end result, instead of the process of doing it. "Perfect" post Terri! Couldn't resist....xo

Kim Stevens said...

Oh, and I forgot to say that I LoVe your photos!!

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

Love your photos for sure!

Being the perfect Christmas mom for tooo many years, I realized that my "perfect" decorations were not what they remembered or loved. It was the little quiet moments of the season. :) Once I heard one of my neighbors kids say... "yahh, my mom is kind of insane around Christmas... its scarey." I was sooo thankful for that little voice of wisdom. I changed a lot of how I proceeded with the holiday after that.

Make a point to enjoy each day! Great post Ms Terri


Deanna said...

As with the malls & stores decorating earlier and earlier each year, the pressure seems to mount for us all to make our homes look like they just came out of a decorating magazine. I tend to lose that true meaning of what Christmas is all about, family & friends and the love that we share. A reminder is what I need to shake my focus away from the "perfect" Christmas to what Christmas truly means. Thank you, Terri. And btw...I love your "perfect" pictures!!!

terriporter said...

Oh, Claudia, this made me smile! I'm sure there were times when my kids thought the same thing about me! And you are so right -- all that perfection is not what they remember and, after all, memories are what it's all about. Being a mother of grown children, it's so interesting to ask them what they remember most about the Christmases while they were growing up and not one of them ever said, "Oh, it was definitely the perfectly matched wrapping paper and bows." Every mother should have a neighbor child as a voice of wisdom!

Carol said...

We made a habit years ago of reading the Xmas books - everything from Dickens to Mickey Mouse. I still read them, as well as watching Wonderful Life, and White Christmas - and they alll help me remember the true meaning. Put your feet up and read inspiration instead of shopping!

Linda said...

Oh that first picture makes me swoon! But, yes to what Claudia said, the kids memories are what's important! They don't even remember what they got the year before! It's more about making memories and spending time together. That's the perfect Christmas! Great post!


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