Monday, December 13, 2010

Imperfect Holidays

I wish I would have started a tradition thirty years ago. I would call this tradition “Holiday Bloopers” or “Things That Went Wrong.” This tradition wouldn’t be to remind me of my failures and short-comings, but it would serve to give us all something to laugh at years later.

Some of the best times I share with my extended family include laughing at mishaps, funny situations or down-right embarrassing moments when things didn’t quite go as planned. Perhaps we have a twisted sense of humor, but I believe hearty laughter is essential to families.

I would take photographs of each blooper. One would be of the huge pile of delicious, buttery mashed potatoes splattered on the kitchen floor when my wrist gave out and they just kept sliding out of the bowl and plopping to the floor while I (and everyone else) watched.

Another photo would be the beautiful bottoms of a dozen crispy, blackened, burned rolls – and don’t pretend you haven’t done this. And when a gift gets the wrong recipient’s name on it, such as when Uncle Henry got the lacey, pink Victoria’s Secrets unmentionables.

I don’t know why, but I just think it would be funny to see photographs of these things.

With this tradition, we would delight in any “things gone wrong” moment instead of expecting everything to be perfect and getting disappointed when it’s not. In fact, we might even search out the “photograph of the season” to add to the pile. People aren’t perfect. Families aren’t perfect. Holidays don’t have to be perfect. They just have to bring us together.

I’m hoping my children and their families will gather (in the far, far future) to laugh about some of the stupid, clumsy or embarrassing things I have done.

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