Sunday, December 25, 2011

Imperfectly Perfect Christmas

To all those who celebrate the holiday, Merry Christmas!

Our holiday from school started unceremoniously last Monday with a kid throwing up. Great.  As the week progressed, various others have succumbed to not feeling so hot either.  I felt so frustrated about how it would all affect our plans for the week with friends and family - and it did. And so, I've been grateful for this perspective:

"We have in our minds a picture of how everything should be - the perfect tree, the perfect lights, the perfect gifts, and the perfect family events. We might even want to re-create some magical moment we remember from Christmases past, and nothing short of perfection will do.

"Sooner or later, something unpleasant occurs . . . the turkey burns, the sweater is the wrong size . . . the children quarrel, the pressure rises - and the picture-perfect Christmas we had imagined, the magic we had intended to create, shatters around us. As a result, the Christmas season is often a time of stress, anxiety, frustration, and perhaps even disappointment.

"But then, if we are only willing to open our hearts and minds to the spirit of Christmas, we will recognize wonderful things happening around us that will direct or redirect our attention to the sublime. It is usually something small - we read a verse of scripture; we hear a sacred carol and really listen, perhaps for the first time to its words; or we witness a sincere expression of love. In one way or another, the Spirit touches our hearts and we see that Christmas, in its essence, is much more sturdy and enduring that the many minor things of tlife we too often use to adorn it.

"In these precious moments, we realize what we feel and know in our heart - that Christmas is really about the Christ." ~Dieter Uchtdorf (you can read the whole address here).

So even though it hasn't been "perfect", Christmas is already Perfect on its own. And that's all we really need.

16 comments:

  1. We spent Thanksgiving last year with the stomach virus making its way through the family. but in the end, we were all together.

    Hope everyone is feeling better!

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  2. Aww, sorry to hear about all the sickies, hope you all enjoyed your day anyway :o)

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  3. Amen! Well said. Blessings, Pat

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  4. Thank you for the perspective. I really needed to read your post. I've really been struggling with disappointment and a difficult family situation. I really didn't want to ruin my 7 year old daughter's Christmas. I think that I really need to lighten up.

    Thank you again and happy holidays!

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  5. I so agree. Last night we went to church to enjoy the carols, and see the live nativity. A couple with a new baby dressed as Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus complete with live lambs. It made me and my family feel the real meaning of Christmas.

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  6. Perfectly said, Amy. Merry Christmas to you!

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  7. so true! Thank you for sharing this. I was feeling the pressure of creating the "perfect" Christmas. And relaxed a little when I realized that would never happen, nor does it matter. Because of the very reason he said in his talk. You are wonderful! Hope you had a Merry Day! (we have 2 sickies here too)

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  8. Amen, Amy! Thanks for sharing such a lovely version of the Christmas story - we sometimes forget that we have been given the greatest Gift of all - we just have to accept it!

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  9. We started the vacation with a puker too. So far the rest of us are fine, thanks for posting the perspective reminder, that was a great talk!

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  10. Seems to be a bunch of stomach flu bugs going around. Unfortunately, one stopped here and I've got it. Things aren't good when Mama is sick! I hope it stops with me though. This certainly has been a Christmas to remember. Two throwing up and the movers come on Wed for our cross USA move to CA. It all can't be real, but don't you think that things didn't go the Mary thought they would either when she welcomed Jesus into human flesh. I think this might be the Christmas I need God the most and I think that might be what this life is about. Thanks for sharing your reflections as well.

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  11. Beautiful post Amy :) So important to keep things in perspective.

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  12. You have no idea how much I needed to read your post...We had a quarrel over Christmas in my family and I've been so upset about it I felt Christmas was ruined...the truth is as you say the little things that did go right that really should be our focus. Thanks for the message of perspective. :o)

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  13. A great post Amy! I hope everyone is better now and that you all had a Merry Christmas!

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  14. Our christmas started on 23 of Dec with our daughter falling down icy stairs on her way to dialysis. She spend Christmas eve in surgery having her left leg which had two major breaks put back together. We spent Christmas eve with our son-in-law and grandson without her. It was really surreal but we were happy that they were able to put her back together without complications. Christmas is never perfect and a lot of plans were changed but we had a happy day even though Nicole missed it and we will celebrate at New Year's with her and family.

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  15. President Uchdorf is one of my favorites (I know you're not supposed to have favorites, but he has really endeared himself to members of the church). Thanks for the lovely reminder.

    xo -E

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  16. What a lovely message. Thanks. And I hope you're all feeling better by now.

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