Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Legend of the Perfect Holiday

In a world where most people in this country have access to technology that allows us to constantly stay in contact with people and update them on what we are doing, there is an unspoken pressure to always be doing something exciting and making sure everyone knows just how happy we are. Our friendships, relationships, and family life better be filled with Hallmark moments, because it looks like everyone else's sure are. This pressure seems to intensify in the season that starts on Thanksgiving and lasts until New Years Eve. In addition to preparing an Instagram worthy meal for our perfectly dressed families to pose beside, arms thrown around each other in perfect familial bliss, we must respond to all of those Happy Thanksgiving texts and assure all of those people that we did indeed have the greatest day ever. That's a lot to get done in one day, especially when there's all of that food to eat!
This Thanksgiving was a little different for my family than most years. We stayed home and had a meal together, just the four of us. To an outsider, it may not have looked like anything special. But there was a fleeting moment as I was watching my family working together in the kitchen (hey,someone has to sit around and make insightful observations while everyone else works!) where I thought to myself "this is exactly what Thanksgiving is supposed to be." It wasn't the kind of family holiday you would see in those old movies they like to rerun every day this time of year, where everyone is filled with holiday cheer no matter what and everything comes together flawlessly right away, but there was something about it that just seemed right. It was imperfect, but ironically similar to what my childhood self thought the ideal family Thanksgiving must be like.
 As I get older, I am starting to realize that it's not the most important thing to have a life that looks good to the rest of the world. Nobody really has a perfect life, and it's a shame that we feel like we have to prove to everyone that we do. But when I let go of the need to have the kind of unrealistic perfect holiday that can only happen on a T.V. screen, I realized just how nice a heartfelt, slightly flawed holiday can be.

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