Merry Christmas one and all...

Christmas is nearly upon us and there’s a wonderful sense of anticipation at welcoming the children back home for us to all be together under the roof of the family home for the first time since April. The flip side of that is the importance of everything being PERFECT. This is always my goal every year as I have a (misguided) belief that everybody will be happier if everything is just PERFECT. I am in control of whether perfection can be achieved and therefore in charge of controlling everyone’s level of happiness and joy on THE BIG DAY. Ergo, if they are not happy, it will be my fault. No pressure whatsoever…

As women we fall so easily into this pattern of thinking in December, regardless of the level of Zen we manage to maintain for the other 11 months. Not content with this level of pressure on ourselves, we insist, with mounting levels of hysteria that those around us conform to ever higher levels of detailed perfection as be start wailing about how we are left doing EVERYTHING. In the past 24 hours (on 22nd December) this has meant me demanding my husband write to the DVLA, advising them of our change of address (from April) Making sure we are registered to vote. Driving stuff to the dump which has been happily residing in the cellar for 6 months. This is the day I also not only have to launder all the bedding (even thought they were all the last people to sleep in their beds) but also it becomes vitally important to wash and tumble dry all the mattress covers and duvets too. Husband is also dealt the unenviable task of cleaning downstairs loo to a high shine, in the event just I am judged on the condition of the underside of my loo seat over the festive period. This may however, have been a subconscious punishment for his earlier faux pas. In the spirit of delegation, as I was in France preparing for a Retreat, I asked him, for the first time ever to decorate the tree. A proud photo was shared amongst us. ‘No lights this year?’ ask I, through gritted teeth. “Oh dear. Schoolboy error”, comes the reply…

I sit bolt upright at 4am remembering that son No 3 arrives back today from overseas and I haven’t defrosted his specially made ‘favourite meal’. Up I get, for fear I forget and his homecoming is in any way less than the PERFECT I want it to be.

I am a wild eyed, hysterical maniac by this time EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. There is, thankfully, always a lightbulb moment. This year was seeing, on the shop shelves, a game which consisted of blowing plastic Brussel sprouts though a hole in the rear end of a cardboard turkey, using only the power of party blowers (we are a cerebral bunch). It was then I imagined 3 generations of tipsy family members having a laugh together and chucked in charades and a couple of other, shouty games with very few rules.

I have such clear memories of the houses we wanted to be invited to when we were younger. It was never the smart tidy houses with organised Mummies & Daddies, it was the comfortable, warm & welcoming homes with blankets for snuggling on the sofas in front of the fire. My favourite homecoming moment is still unexpectedly finding a hot water bottle in your bed on a cold night. ‘Perfection’ is about the perfect little moments when we do a little something for, or with, those we love. Peace on Earth (or at least in our house) will be my goal for these last 48 hours before the joyous chaos of a family Christmas Day.

So this year, I have thrown in the metaphorical towel. It will be far short of textbook perfect and the only pressure I will be putting on myself is to blow more sprouts up the cardboard turkey’s backside than anyone else. And if that’s not a Christmas challenge, I don’t know what is.

Merry Christmas one and all…

#Carolyn #PureRetreats #Christmas

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