You want the holidays to be filled with memory-making moments for your family – lovely decorations, fun activities, homemade goodies, photos of happy faces. But when holiday perfectionism invades the season, it can take the fun right out of it.
The need for a perfect holiday is based on one’s perception of what that should look like. While a perfectionist has a need to control, a holiday perfectionist has a need to control how they create, or recreate based on meaningful memories, a holiday that will make everyone else happy.
However, as always happens when one person takes total control, everyone else begins to feel slighted in some way, resentment builds, and then no one is having a good time. Even though the best of intentions were in place, the perfect holiday maker forgot to include two of the most important etiquette guidelines in their plans: kindness and consideration.
We each have our own ideas about what constitutes a holiday that is enjoyable and memorable. And this is a key point in recognizing that holiday perfectionism may be rearing its head because you are considering your own ideas while disregarding those of others.
If more than one of the following situations ring true for you, you might be a holiday perfectionist:
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar to you?
Our perception of what makes a holiday special is what drives us to deliver that picture to our loved ones. While elaborate meals, decorations, gifts, and a flurry of activities may seem ideal, they are not always connected to what is realistic.
Holidays are meant to be shared, and sharing requires connection and compromise. If there is a disconnect between you and the people with whom you spend this time, or if you place yourself in charge without considering the desires and expectations of others, it will not be perfect.
As mentioned above, etiquette calls for us to always show kindness and consideration to others – and to ourselves. Giving these two things top priority during the holiday season will ensure you can move away from perfectionism and toward enjoying quality time with family and friends.
If you think about it, the best and most memorable holiday moments happen when things are unplanned: someone spontaneously begins singing a Christmas carol and everyone joins in, you forgot to add sugar when making fudge and your husband made the funniest face ever when he bit into it. There are many different -- and heartwarming -- scenarios that can play out when you loosen control and allow the joy of the season to happen.
This year, as we find ourselves dealing with a pandemic, many of us are distanced from loved ones and gatherings will be kept to a minimum if they happen at all. What better time to use all the kindness and consideration you can muster to create connections that will forever be remembered fondly?