Yesterday, the boys and I made a gingerbread house while my husband worked out. We just bought one of those box kits and got to work. When I was growing up, I always wanted to build a huge gingerbread house. The super fancy kind with elaborate details, a gingerbread family about the house, and I wanted it to be homemade. However, there was not a single year that we build a gingerbread house while I lived at home. Naturally, one thing I was so excited to do when I had kids was build this idyllic gingerbread house of my childhood Christmas dreams.
I found myself incredibly impressed with how our gingerbread house building was going. It looked like a house, which seemed like a good sign. It wasn’t exactly how I’d imagined, but I felt like we were having such a wonderful time as a family. Then, my four year old looked up and said “But it doesn’t look like the picture.” I knew then and there that I had a blog post on my hands. Don’t we all get that way, especially around the holidays? Rushing around making ourselves completely insane to create memories that look just like the pictures in glossy magazines or shared across social media.I’m guilty of it. I’m guilty of occasionally letting someone else set the standard for my family. Usually that person is a total stranger! This holiday season and as we head into the new year, I wanted to remind you all how beautiful and unique our stories are. We get to do whatever is best for our own families! The shiplap and white walls in the gingerbread homes we live in or build, do not determine who we are in our hearts. Let us give ourselves the grace to skip the elf, to let our in laws sleep on old blankets, to forego a couple events during this hectic season. To say that matching sweaters every day of December isn’t attainable or necessary.
I was so humbled by my four year old’s inference. He is a real perfectionist and it makes me so sad. I know he gets it from me and my neurotic planning and execution. I don’t want that for him!! I want him to see the beauty all around him, to see blessings in imperfections, and to be able and breathe and enjoy life. I want that for you, too. I want that for all of us, actually.