Often during the holidays, we picture a perfect family gathering or party with friends, where everything goes exactly as planned. We imagine a Norman Rockwell Christmas Eve and Christmas day. However, sometimes life throws a curveball and our ideal Christmas can turn into something resembling a Griswolds’ holiday.
Holiday mishaps happen to everyone and can end up being great memories to look back on. Although they might not be too funny at the time, they can bring lots of laughs for years to come. My family has had their share of funny Christmas stories. From finding our dog on top of the table, eating 16 gumdrops from our gingerbread house when she was a puppy, to numerous Christmas trees falling to the ground, recalling these stories always make the corners of our mouths turn upward. Another favorite tale is while my family was at a school event, my dog somehow got into the teachers’ presents sitting on the floor. She managed to remove all the Hershey’s kisses from the bags, unwrap them (wouldn’t you love to watch her do that?), and then proceed to eat all of the chocolate. Let’s just say there was a surprise waiting for us when we returned home. Lastly, one of my relatives recalls the story about their family’s tradition of eating cheesecake crescent rolls during Christmas. However, one year the dish was accidentally made with garlic crescent rolls. To this day, they still chuckle at the mistake.
Other common holiday mishaps are family photos gone wrong, thinking a Christmas sweater is ugly when it wasn’t meant to be, or gifting the incorrect present to someone.
It is important to remember there are tips for when things don’t go as planned. Read below whenever holiday mishaps and stress get to you.
- Keep your expectations reasonable and be flexible. If your quintessential Christmas morning of opening presents, drinking hot chocolate, and listening to Bing Crosby sing on the radio turns out to be a morning of kids unwrapping all of their presents at once and bowls of cereal with the dog barking in the background, know that is okay. Don’t beat yourself up and make unrealistic expectations. Holiday moments are more meaningful if you remember to actually enjoy them.
- Give yourself a break and let your family and friends help out. Cramming all of the cooking in, beating the crowds shopping for last minute presents, and staying up past Santa’s visit wrapping gifts can take a toll on a person. It can also eliminate the holiday joy they feel. Make the holidays a family event and get everyone involved. Let your kids pitch in with the Christmas dinner or send your husband to fight the rush at the grocery store. In addition, having everyone’s help gives you more time to make those special memories. Lastly, create a schedule and to-do list for everything that needs to be accomplished. However, forgive yourself and let go of your guilt if you don’t finish everything you put down for the day, week, or even holiday season. This is where setting your priorities comes into play. Consider what is most important for you, your family, and friends. Is it necessary to go caroling in the neighborhood? Do you need to make a 12-course meal for Christmas Eve? Or will your family still have a great holiday with pick-up food? Don’t sacrifice time with loved ones just to outdo yourself.
The holidays are a time for fun, family, friends, and love. When a mishap happens, just sit back, relax, and remember nothing is ever perfect. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Article written for Forsyth Woman Magazine.