I was so proud I got my Christmas decorations up in enough time to enjoy them for two weeks before Christmas proper. But I plum forgot that I had intended to redesign my Christmas tree. So that when the decorations came out of the boxes, I was less than thrilled. “Oh those”my inner child said. And so I dutifully dressed the Christmas tree in last year’s already tired frocks and said,”Good Enough.”

I felt kinda growly about it but I know no one else will see what I see and isn’t most of this for everyone else anyway? So imagine how I felt when I came down this morning to find the tree laying on the floor, prostrate at the goddess of perfection’s feet.

If there isn’t one phrase I keep hearing people offer me, it’s, “Be gentle with yourself“. And that’s what I channeled at that moment. I admittedly had this impulse to scrap the whole thing and start from scratch but I knew that wasn’t realistic. So I took care of all my other chores while the tree stood in timeout in the corner and then I got an eyehook and some twine and tethered that bad boy.

It is crunchier than death but all the ornaments have been put back on and there are wrapped presents underneath, a sure sign that Christmas and Santa are almost here. And the gift that I included for myself with those under the tree? Permission to begin again at any moment. And to lower those perfection expectations and “Go easier on myself”.

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  1. Some of the best Christmas memories are things like “remember when the Christmas tree fell down.” The Christmas stories we tell in our family are never about the year everything was perfect. It’s more like, remember the year that Mom forgot to turn on the oven and we ate the turkey at midnight.

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