The myth of the perfect Christmas: Why it’s okay to let go of unrealistic expectations

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perfect The myth of the perfect Christmas: Why it's okay to let go of unrealistic expectations

Every year, I find myself feeling disappointed by Christmas. It never lives up to my expectations, and I always end up feeling let down.

I know I’m not alone in this feeling.

We all have this idea of the “perfect” Christmas in our heads – the beautifully decorated home, the lavish gifts, the joyful family gatherings.

But the truth is, the perfect Christmas is a myth. It’s a fantasy that we can never quite reach, no matter how hard we try.

I used to think that my disappointment was because I only see my family a few times a year, so I wanted to make the most of it. We would plan elaborate meals, buy the perfect gifts, and decorate the house to the nines. We would go all out, trying to create the perfect holiday experience.

But inevitably, something would go wrong. There would be little issues that cropped up, family arguments that broke out, and things just didn’t go as planned. And because we wanted it to be so perfect, we would become disappointed by this.

But then I had the striking realization: actually, what we experience at Christmas is completely normal. It’s normal family life. Filled with happy moments, laughter, and love, but also arguments and tense moments. This is just what happens when you spend an extended period of time with the same group of people, especially if those people are your family. And this is normal. The problem is that we’ve been idealizing Christmas, idealizing it as this wonderful family time where everything is perfect. But the truth is, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Christmas can be rugged and gruelling. It can be filled with happy and sad moments, tears and joy. It can be everything. And that’s okay. In fact, it’s more than okay – it’s normal. So this year, I’m giving up on the myth of the perfect Christmas. I’m letting go of the unrealistic expectations and embracing the messiness and imperfections of the holiday season. It’s all part of the magic.

Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t try to make the holiday season special. Of course we should! But we shouldn’t put so much pressure on ourselves to make everything perfect. We shouldn’t set ourselves up for disappointment by trying to create the perfect holiday experience. Instead, we should focus on what truly matters: spending time with the people we love and celebrating the traditions that are meaningful to us.

The holiday season is about connection, about being with the people we love and celebrating the traditions that are meaningful to us. It’s not about having the perfect tree or the most elaborate feast. It’s about creating memories and feeling grateful for what we have. And that can be done without trying to create the perfect holiday experience.

So let’s let go of the myth of the perfect Christmas and embrace the chaos. The holiday season is a time for celebration and joy, but it’s also a time for self-reflection and gratitude. Instead of stressing about the perfect Christmas, let’s take some time to think about what we’re grateful for. Maybe it’s our health, our job, or our loved ones. Whatever it is, let’s take a moment to appreciate it.

My key point is this:

The myth of the perfect Christmas is just that: a myth. It’s okay to let go of unrealistic expectations and focus on what truly matters. The holiday season is about connection, gratitude, and joy, not perfection. So let’s embrace the messiness and imperfections of the holiday season. 

The holiday season can be a stressful time, with all the pressure to create the perfect experience. But it doesn’t have to be that way. By letting go of the myth of the perfect Christmas and focusing on what truly matters, we can find joy and meaning in the holiday season without the pressure to be perfect.

So let’s embrace the messiness and imperfections of the holiday season. Let’s focus on what truly matters to us and our loved ones. And let’s remember that the holiday season is about connection, gratitude, and joy, not perfection. By letting go of the myth of the perfect Christmas, we can have a meaningful, low-stress holiday season that brings us joy and happiness.

Justin Brown

I'm Justin Brown, the founder of Ideapod. I've overseen the evolution of Ideapod from a social network for ideas into a publishing and education platform with millions of monthly readers and multiple products helping people to think critically, see issues clearly and engage with the world responsibly.

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