What is the ‘perfect’ Christmas? This is a question that I find myself asking every year, just as soon as people whip out the Christmas day schedules and decorate their houses.
I have a friend whose tree is perfectly and artistically decorated, such that if an ornament is so much as a millimetre out of place, her whole Christmas is ruined. I have another friend who isn’t allowed near her tree: her mum sends the rest of the family out for a day each year so that she may decorate the house and upon their return, they must not touch ANYTHING. And of course, there are a billion different television programmes and magazines, each with their own ideas about how best to wrap presents, decorate the dinner table and schedule the day.
I have to say, I find all of this to be complete and utter humbug! To me, Christmas is not about perfection. As children, we decorated the tree. The fact that only the front, lower half of the tree had anything on it did not matter, because the process of decorating it as a family was what mattered. I am terrible at wrapping Christmas presents: unless it is a box, it will look like it has been chewed up and spewed out upon arrival. And on Christmas day, we slob around without so much as a watch in sight. The day is about being together, and enjoying the company.
I find myself questioning who such perfectionists are achieving perfection for: if they are at their most happy when in a show-home and abiding by a schedule, then I suppose that they have found what the true meaning of Christmas is for them. If, however, the perfection is for the benefit of everyone else and their judgment, then I must question if it is really worth it.
Christmas, to me, is about mess, and laziness and eating just one more chocolate. It is not about stress, or showing off. It is not about being an artist, or even a control-freak. It is about being silly with those I love most, and having fun. That, to me, is the perfect Christmas.