For many, many years I ran around preparing for Christmas and other holidays so that everything would be picture perfect. Whether I was hosting the event, or attending it at someone else’s house, I would feel the entire weight of the event on my shoulders.
I wanted everything to be perfect for everyone – which it usually was. I always had all of the great treats and dishes I made sitting out on the table when guests arrived. The cups, silverware, serving utensils and everything else would be right in their place, ready to be used.
As the event went on, I’d spend the evening making sure that everything stayed perfect, cleaning up constantly, packing up food for everyone, etc. Somewhere in my late thirties I realized that everyone was in fact enjoying themselves, everyone but me. By the time I’d sit down, the events were over. I’d realize once again that I didn’t even get to visit with everyone.
I later adopted the theory that simple was better. I wouldn’t make 3-4 times more food than was needed. I wouldn’t buy 7-8 different types of sodas. I wouldn’t clean continually while people were there. I decided that if people didn’t get enough to eat or drink while they were there, they could always run by some fast food place to get more on their way home. Getting together was meant to be time spent together, enjoying one another. Not trying to make everything perfect.
I’m so glad that I had this realization and shifted my thinking when I did. Now, whenever I get together with friends or family, it’s never about what everyone will bring – but rather just spending quality time together! I hope this inspires you to reconsider your “perfect gathering”.