Looking at her Facebook post, I saw the pictures of her annual Christmas party. There were her numerous Christmas trees, each decorated more beautifully than the last. There were specialty drinks, abundant appetizers, and fancy decorations throughout the house. The photos online made everything look perfect. And made me feel horribly inadequate. My tree was not up, nothing was decorated, there were no cookies baked in this house. I felt like there was no way I could keep up.
Later when I spoke with her on the phone, she admitted to spending two days cleaning, shopping, and preparing for the party. Right before her guests came she broke down in tears. She felt like there was too much pressure year after year, and questioned whether this party was worth all the work. But then she told me that as her party guests were leaving, they graciously thanked her and told her how much of a blessing it was to them each holiday season.
So what are we to do? How do you find balance between a weary pursuit of perfectionism and a dark cold house on Christmas because you just can’t this year?
This Christmas, what if instead of exchanging cookies or gifts, we exchange encouragement, laughter and joy?
This Christmas, if someone has been a blessing to you, tell them. If someone is going through something you have gone through – talk to them about it. If someone is sitting in a dark place this Christmas, go and be their light.
Friendship is born when one person says to another, “What? You too? I thought I was the only one!”