I had a bit of a holiday meltdown while Christmas shopping after work last night.

I was tired.
I was feeling a bit pressured by the upcoming holidays.
I have family arriving to stay as guests,
and will also be traveling to visit out-of-state family.
I was thinking of finding time for the extra cooking,
and cleaning up my messy house.
I was thinking of my budget.
I was wishing I had time to make a little gift
for everyone I love.
But instead I was trying to quickly find the perfect little thing
that will make my family and friends smile.

The parking lot was packed,
with cars circling around to find an open spot.

The holiday music was blaring. The lines were long.
Kids were fussing. Moms were tired and impatient.
I agonized over every little thing I put in my basket:
“This is really cute. But will she like it?
Maybe it’s not so cute. Maybe its a stupid waste of money…”
I  felt like I was wandering around in a daze.
And when I looked into the full basket while waiting in line,
I realized that I had picked up $$$ worth of stuff
that nobody really wanted or needed.

And so I quietly put my basket down
and walked out of the store.
And sat in my car and cried.
I was overcome with nostalgia,
and the desire to make everything “perfect”. . .

The way it ought to be, it should be, it could be, it used to be!

I remember when my boys were little.
I could wrap up a box of crayons or a tiny plastic car,
and they would jump up & down when they opened them, squealing with delight!
(I remember that same feeling myself!)
No disappointment.
No thoughts of returning, or wondering how much it cost.
No judgment.
Simple. Pure. Delight.

It wasn’t the “perfect gifts” I was looking for.
It was simple, pure, non-judgmental, delightful joy!

So very much of our lives are colored by feelings that everything must be “perfect”:
the perfect body, the perfect home, the perfect clothes and hair.
The perfect holidays.

In seeking that perfection,
in making judgments about how it ought to be, it should be, it could be, it used to be,
we cover up a pure simple joy:
Accepting with delight whatever is in that box.

Accepting with delight whatever is in your life.

Wishing all of my readers as much joy as you can find inside every gift you receive,
and as much joy as you can send with every gift you give!