The holiday season is upon us again.  What does that thought stir in you?  For many of us, it is the pressure for the perfect Christmas.  What we would not do for the perfect Christmas season.   The beautiful decorations greet you as you drive up to your home.  As you walk into your home, the scent of pine sweeps you into Christmas euphoria.  The only thing that interrupts the pine smell is the whiff of a ham baking in the oven.  You are greeted with Christmas cheer by your children dressed in full Christmas attire!  With the sounds of holiday music playing, you recline in your comfy chair with your hot cider and dream of a white Christmas. 

            As you snap out of your dream state, you realize that your holiday season will not be the “Joanna Gaines” Christmas that you dreamed of.  Why do we put that pressure on ourselves to have the “Perfect Christmas”?  Why do our expectations of the holidays fall short of our experiences?  Could it be that other things drive our expectations?

            What are we searching for that drives us to do all these things?  To be sure, some people love the whole experience of the holidays, but other times it is caused by something else.  It could very well be that we are trying to capture something that we cannot attain by the craze of decorations.  Here are a couple of thoughts that may help you.

            Are we trying to relive our childhood memories?  Are we trying to recapture moments from the past?  One of the things I have learned along the way is that you can never recapture a past moment.  We tend to think that we will have the same results if we just do the same thing.  That may be true for some things, but it is hard to replicate feelings when trying to attach emotions with experiences.  Vacations are notorious for that.  How often have I tried to relive past experiences, and I left disappointed because I had those false expectations.  The holidays can be the same.  The truth is that God has new experiences for us.  He has new things He wants us to experience. God always wants us to experience new things.  Our life was never meant just to relive past experiences.  New things are His speciality.  So maybe this year you ask, “Lord, what do you want me to experience this Holiday season?”  He may want you to stay thankful.  He may say you need to enjoy the moments.  God has something He wants to do inside you this Christmas, and it is most likely different from last year. 

            Another reason we can get into the trap of the “perfect Christmas” myth is that we feel the pressure to impress others, or we fear that we will be judged by how well we “do” Christmas.   This isn’t a healthy way to enter the season.  I encourage you to enter this season with the question,  “What would give me peace?”  You cannot live your life according to the expectations of others. It’s easy to fall into the trap of living to impress.   This “keeping up with the Joneses” will drive you to exhaustion.  My suggestion is just to be you.  There are much more important things than your peace being stolen by the expectations of others.  Paul writes this in 2 Corinthians 10:12 “ But they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”  The scriptures warn us against comparing ourselves with others.  We need to be careful not to fall into this trap.  A flower does not care about the flower next to it.  It just blooms. 

Let’s dispel the “Perfect Christmas” myth.  Just enjoy the journey.  Remember the meaning behind it all.  Jesus came to Earth.  He came to show us His way of love.  Let this season be centered around Jesus.  Let us ever be reminded of God’s love for us, and let that fuel our love for others this Holiday season.  Enjoy this season, be content, be thankful, and be reflective as we approach 2022. 

“Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable Gift.” – 2 Corinthians 9:15