Embracing Imperfection at Christmas…a Photo Journal

I know people who decorate their Christmas trees with new, color-coordinated themes every year.  I know people who special-order pine boughs to adorn their mantles and banisters, and then have someone come in to deck the halls for them.  If that’s how they roll for Christmas, more power to them.  I’m sure their homes look beautiful.

The tradition in our family?  It isn’t Christmas unless the vintage manger scene includes a glitter ball snowman and the Star Trek ornaments share boughs with Lenox crystal reindeer.

That’s how we roll.

I am a perfectionist desperately trying to adopt the mantra, “perfection is overrated.”  And Christmas is a good (?) time to take this newfound point-of-view for a spin.  Although sometimes the “spin” is more like an uncontrolled car doughnut in an icy parking lot, I’m learning to embrace the kooky, and the imperfect, in our holiday decorating.  Here’s a few examples:


Ah, the tree.  The one that appeared the perfect size in the home improvement warehouse.  The one that has taken over in its fake-green glory every home we’ve ever lived in.  We love it.  Even this year’s gap in the twinkle lights.  Two strands, half unlit.  Oh, well.  I’ll buy new ones on sale after the holiday.


This is the first gingerbread house my son has built and designed himself.  It is also the first gingerbread house where the candy made it to the project before my kids’ mouths.  Which I think is an extraordinary accomplishment on their part.  I mean, it’s candy.  A few decades old from the look and feel of it, but still.  However, the confection is free game after being put on display.  I don’t know if plucking the yellow candy from the frosting “snow” was on purpose, but it works.


Winter wonderland zombie apocalypse.  My kids built their Lego winter village on the hearth this year.  It’s super cute.  But the people can’t stay upright on the fluffy “snow” rug.  So it looks like tragedy has struck the North Pole.  No bench unturned, no one spared.  Not even Mrs. Claus.


Ok.  Yes.  Our pumpkins.  Up until recently it’s been rather balmy and our fall decor is too pristine to toss in the trash.  While the neighbors have long gone the way of wreaths and LED icicle lights, we look too lazy to join the crowd.  But the fact is…I’m a pumpkin preservationist.  Um, yeah.  Let’s just go with that.


And as can happen, I did fall off the wagon:

Look at these beautiful Norwegian-style wool reindeer.  Frolicking in a basket of scented pinecones!  You should have seen my daughter’s face (a WTH kind of look) when I actually bought pinecones.  It’s not like we don’t have hundreds in our yard.  But I couldn’t help myself.


And last, but certainly not least…

I love to make Christmas cookies with my kids.  As their grandmother is the Walter White of cookie making, I inherited her love of exquisitely baked and decorated holiday treats.  However, I have not by a long shot mastered her level of talent.  Here’s my attempt at making sugar cookies with a cutout:

That shape in the middle is supposed to be a Christmas tree.  But the cookies expanded and the cutouts partially filled in, looking like Santa’s bellybutton.  Or maybe Santa’s bellybutton really does look like a Christmas tree.  Can’t unsee that.  It’s a good thing these cookies will be sandwiched with jam-slathered compatriots, so the whole “bowl full of jelly” thing fits.


Hope your Christmas filled with joy, love and perfectly-honed imperfection!

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