I think I was able to let go of perfection a few years ago. It only took 50 some years but it finally happened. Now I look at Christmas as family time. I try not to have any expectations about how it will all work out and just try to enjoy the time. I hardly bake anything, do not do Christmas cards, we don't exchange many gifts so the stress is much reduced.
I think for many years my mother's unhappiness and moodiness at the holidays affected my feelings. It seemed to me that she never had a good time. There was so much cooking, entertaining, gift buying, package mailing and it seemed she did not enjoy much of it. She maybe would get a tiny bit of joy in her baking and giving but I didn't see much.
Every since 1972, I have had to travel to be with my family at Christmas. This can be stressful (Look at Dec 2 pages) but it is so much easier to not go if the weather is poor. I always think that other people are having more fun at the holidays. I don't know why and it has taken a long time to be realistic about this. One of the reasons I am doing Journal Your Christmas is to understand and enjoy the season more.
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