There’s a lot of stress during the Holidays, especially this year. I think, in large measure, it’s because most of us want to make Christmas as perfect as a Hallmark movie for those we love. We worry about details that take on an importance far beyond their significance; we literally can’t see the forest for the Christmas trees. We spend days searching for perfect presents, and worrying if they’ll arrive on time; we exhaust ourselves trying to figure out how to stretch our budgets to pay for them; and spend hours in the kitchen, preparing the perfect Christmas feast. This quest for perfection creates stress that would try the patience of a Saint, because it’s impossible to achieve-and yet, we keep trying, despite all the odds against us this year.
Maybe we should step back and take a lesson from the One who started the Holiday. There’s only been one Perfect Christmas. There weren’t any big parties or celebrations associated with it. It was a very small event, celebrated by a family in a stable, without decorations, feasting, or presents; and there was only one gift—the gift of Perfect Love.
This Christmas Season, it’s worth remembering that a child’s favorite present is often the box it came in; that as long as the gravy is hot, the turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes don’t have to be; and that the most precious gift we have to give to our families is our love, and the time we spend with them.
May God bless all of us this Holiday Season-and may we all have a simply perfect Christmas.
Herb McMillan represented Annapolis for 12 years in the Maryland House of Delegates. He may be reached at [email protected]