Does this level of planning and expectations sound familiar to you? You’ve decided that, this year you’re going to knit color coordinated personalized stockings for everyone in the family and welcome guests to a freshly painted dining room filled with handcrafted holiday decorations at precisely 2 pm.
It’s easy to get excited about the holidays, especially this year when we’re stuck at home with too much time on our hands and craving a celebration. We all need something to look forward to, and over-planning for a big holiday celebration is tempting. But you might want to consider taking a deep breath.
Remind yourself that holidays don’t have to be perfect to be special.
You can still be creative. Instead of hand making gifts for friends, try writing notes filled with memories of shared holidays and what their friendship means to you. Using a Christmas stamp is nice, but hey — it doesn’t matter if the stamps aren’t Christmas themed. It’s nothing to stress about, and this year. You can order them online; but if you don’t do that, you shouldn’t go to a potentially crowded post office at the last minute just for holiday-themed stamps.
Enlist the family to help with a new menu for your holiday meal; perhaps turkey pot-pies are more appealing than a formal carved bird and the dishes don’t have to match.
If you’re fixating on the perfect holiday, if your desire to make everything ‘just right’ keeps you from enjoying activities or trying new things, or if your high standards are causing family turmoil, reach out to a mental health professional. Your perfectionism could be a symptom of a compulsive disorder or other issue. Your local Mental Health Association or your local chapter of NAMI have resources available in your area.