Knocking over the Christmas tree and shattering all the ornaments, burning the dinner rolls, not getting holiday cards out. These are not the kinds of things I have in mind as I think about ways the holiday season can be ruined. In fact, what I believe sabotages good things [like holidays] most frequently is not the circumstances we end up in, but rather what goes on inside our hearts and minds.
This past year I've been evaluating perspective and values often. So many of our experiences are influenced by our perspectives and values, aren't they? A very personal example for me is perfectionism. As a recovering perfectionist, I have to constantly examine my why for doing the things I do. The holidays, complete with its barrage of Pinterest approved home decor ideas, Facebook toasts, boasts and roasts, and pressure to "do it all" and create the best memories, can be especially stressful for perfectionist types. It's way too easy for me to feel like nothing is worth doing if it isn't going to be done precisely the right way. Yet, as I begin to write new scripts in my mind and correct lies that equate performance with worth, it is getting easier and easier to be okay with imperfection. While it is getting easier, it still isn't easy. Like I said, I'm recovering.
This past Sunday I had it set in my mind that I and the girls were going to build the most beautiful gluten and dairy free gingerbread house [practice for a Make-Your-Own Gingerbread House Workshop I was hoping to offer this coming Saturday]. I had planned ahead and purchased a kit that had all the cutters and instructions. I had found a "foolproof" recipe for GF DF gingerbread, and even bought the suggested artisan baking flour blend. Making the dough went so smoothly. It mixed up flawlessly and rolled out perfectly. The recipe was spot on and we had just enough dough for all the house pieces, some extra trees, and 3 snow people. We baked the pieces. We took them out at the exact time the recipe said to.
There was only one problem. The recipe was for gingerbread you eat. If that had been our purpose, it would have been amazing. But amazing isn't the word that came to mind when I picked up the first wall and it broke in half as I tried to frost-glue it to another wall. The same thing happened with the next wall I tried. And the next. The girls were unable to hide their disappointment and for a brief second I had the urge to bundle it all up in the table cloth and chuck it out the front door. If I'm being honest, I probably would have actually done that two years ago.
Thanks be to God [literally, I believe prayer has been answered as my heart has changed over the last two years] I didn't chuck it. Instead, I reminded myself the why. I reminded myself that the gingerbread activity was to spend time doing something fun and creative with my girls and to practice for a workshop that we will host some day at Simply Nourished. So we practiced. We learned a lot about how not to do it. We laughed. We used our creativity. We enjoyed our time together. And although I probably won't be using our end result as an advertisement for the workshop [which we will plan for next year after we have had more time to practice], it was the perfect gingerbread house for us this year. I'm choosing not to let perfectionism, negative thoughts, consumerism or discontentment ruin this most wonderful time of the year. Wishing you all an imperfectly perfect rest of your holiday season!
If you're hoping to do some holiday baking or gingerbread practice yourself this week, we still have lots of supplies in stock at Simply Nourished--GF flours, starches, flavor extracts, sweeteners, baking cocoas and chips, nondairy milks and dye-free sprinkles just to name a few. We also have many seasonal items arriving this week! Simply Nourished will be open our normal winter hours this week and next: Wednesday through Friday 11-6 and Saturday 10-2. Better Body Movement services will be scheduled Tuesday through Friday this week and next.