The Picture Perfect Thanksgiving Gathering… Really?

I have a confession to make.

My holidays more closely resemble National Lampoon’s movie Christmas Vacation than a Norman Rockwell Painting. For years, I’ve defined the perfect holiday by chasing an image of a well dressed family gathered around a beautifully decorated table preparing for the perfect holiday meal together.

As you might guess, the real picture around our house is vastly different:

*          Scheduling a family meal together takes a PhD in logistic management!
*          I am better at washing dishes than baking pies.  I doubt my creations will ever see the cover of Bon Appétit.
*          Food inevitably finds its way to my clothes, and if I am lucky, I might be wearing something other than yoga apparel.
*          By the time we all sit down, I’m exhausted and hungry for a nap rather than a huge meal.

And I’m fine with things just as they are.

Here’s my story…

Mom and Dad had come for the holidays.  We planned a beautiful meal.   I put the turkey in the oven and went out for a leisurely jog.  When I returned I immediately knew something was wrong.   The house was dark.  We had no power!   The turkey was far from done, and the side dishes sat unbaked on the counter. My perfect holiday was ruined.

While I was having my meltdown, I watched Dad remain amazingly calm and unfazed by the entire event.  He settled into a recliner to work on his crossword puzzle. When meal-time approached, he created a leisurely meal from the refrigerator leftovers.

Dad was already having his perfect holiday, simply because we were all together.

That’s the day my picture of “perfect” changed.  I became thankful that my parents had driven over 1,000 miles to see me and enjoy each other’s company.  Everyone was healthy.  Mom was in her pajamas reading a magazine.  Dad was absorbed in puzzles with my dog in his lap.  I had just been outside enjoying the beautiful day and getting some exercise.

This is what perfect was meant to be.

Have you ever struggled with this idea of having a perfect holiday only to be disappointed?   If yes, then you should know that you are in good company.   Holidays can be a struggle for many reasons. Share your thoughts and experience with us below.   I believe the more we collectively share how we really experience the holidays then the more satisfied we will all be with our own.

2016-11-21T13:25:31+00:00 By |Blog, Front-page-posts, Thoughts|