For someone who tends to be a chronic planner, I find it odd I don’t stress over the preparation of Christmas. Maybe I should because there was that one Christmas a few years ago when I tried my hand at making turkey instead of ham. When it was time to eat and we sliced the big bird open he was, unfortunately, still gobbling. That year, we ended up slicing the turkey and sauteing it up in a pan because none of us were too keen on the idea of eating sushi turkey. Oops.
Yes, I was disappointed (and a little embarrassed too). But, thankfully I have some great friends and family who have a way of making bad moments not so bad. Now, I can look back on my turkey failure and laugh.
This morning I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a few stressed out and frantic Christmas preparation posts. I thought again about how weird it is that I don’t stress out preparing for Christmas or any holiday. Let me assure you, I have been known to stress over lots of other things in life…but just not this.
Why? I wondered for a moment.
When I was a little girl we always hosted Christmas dinner at our house. It was the tradition for years and years. Thanksgiving dinner was always at the Smiths house (some life long friends of my parents). New Year’s Day dinner was always at my grandparent’s house and Christmas dinner was always at our house.
There was this one year, I was about 16, when my parents came close to moving dinner to a restaurant instead. My mom was battling breast cancer and didn’t feel strong enough to do all the cooking and hosting. I remember begging my parents not to change it. I told them I would cook the dinner for everyone. I also remember saying to them both, heck, we can just have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches…it doesn’t matter!
All I cared about was that we were together where we belonged.
My parents agreed to my plan. I did most of the cooking (not PB &J) and our family and friends who joined us helped by bringing a couple of dishes to share. It was more of a potluck Christmas where everyone helped out.
My mom passed a way a couple of years later and Christmas looked and felt a lot different after that. But my philosophy remains the same. I don’t care what’s on the dinner menu. I don’t care if it’s homemade, store-bought, paper plates or fine china. What’s important are those lives sitting around the table with me.
If you are caught up in all the planning today, would you take moment and just stop.
It’s okay if dinner turns out to be a little under cooked… or over cooked.
It’s okay if you forgot to buy dinner rolls.
It’s okay if you don’t have time to make the guest bathroom sparkle.