The Holidays…when our social media accounts fill with photos of happy families, beautiful Christmas tree’s, and perfectly decorated houses. And no, this article isn’t going where you think it is. I’m not going to tell you it’s all a lie. I’m not going to tell you that those people are just trying to create an illusion of perfection. I’m offering a different perspective.
Last week we dug the Christmas decorations out of the attic. Let me tell you…it’s a job. We don’t have nice pull down steps. We push an outdoor ladder up to a hole in the hallway, and the Bearded Man pushes heavy totes of Christmas decor down to me, and I just hope I don’t drop and break everything in the process. The kids get impatient. Decorations and glitter start flying everywhere . The Bearded Man and i might fight a little. We may have yelled at the kids while Christmas music blared on the T.V.
This is what I posted on Facebook that day. My beautiful tree, decorated first by my kids, then later, rearranged by my loving (and OCD) Husband, once the kids went to bed. Then rearranged again by my two year old. Was I trying to create an illusion of perfection? Nope. That was just what I chose to remember from that day. I chose to not let the stress, fighting, and grumpiness win. That moment is what I wanted to share. To see a year from now. That moment is what I chose to remember.
The other day, my sweet boys fell asleep on my lap. None of us had been feeling well, and we sat in the chair and conked out. I managed to slide out of the chair, and had to snap this precious picture. Was I trying to imply that my boys are perfect little angels that nap like this all the time? Nope. It had been a rough day. There had been weeping and gnashing of teeth. I’m pretty sure the living room was messy. This moment is what I chose to remember.
Pictures where all 3 children are smiling can be rare. This one was actually spur of the moment. That day, we had been playing in the leaves. The kids had been arguing over how the leaf pile should look. I had been trying to be productive and happy, as the dark cloud of anxiety weighed heavy on my shoulders. Maybe to you, it looked like like an attempt to be fake. To look perfect. To me, it was a bright spot in a week that I was really struggling. This moment is what I chose to remember.
Even pictures of food are a big debate. Post a picture of your meal, and it looks like you’re trying to be all braggy and rival June Cleaver. Let me tell you, I love your food pictures. It inspires me to get in the kitchen, even on days where I don’t feel like it. Some days, pushing past my exhaustion to cook a homemade meal feels like a huge triumph. Sitting around the table laughing with my family, as they fill their tummies, makes it worth it. That’s what I choose to remember.
So friends…this season, keep posting those pictures of your smiling families, pretty Christmas Tree’s, crafts, and yummy meals. It doesn’t mean any of us are trying to feign perfection. Lets reassess why those photos may bother us. Could there be seeds of envy or discontent in our own lives? Do we struggle to be happy when others seem to be happy?
Maybe we are all just looking for a glimmer of light in those days that can seem dark and heavy. Those little glimmers are what I want to remember a year from now. They are what I choose remember.