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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
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The “Perfect” Holiday

December 2003


Have you ever noticed how much pressure there is to create the “perfect” holiday? A good question is what makes a perfect holiday?


Is it having every member of the family there, sitting around drinking eggnog, singing and enjoying each other? That is a wonderful picture. Perhaps one that you would find on a Hallmark card, but probably not one that you would find in a real family.


Real families are much more complicated. Real families are often very busy and the entire family cannot get together on one day. What can you do instead? Let go of that part of the fantasy and arrange to see different parts of your family during different times of the season. It is too much pressure to expect that everyone can make it on the same day. Release that pressure and spread out the holiday joy for several days!


Real families do not always get along, especially with all of the pressure of the holidays. Do not expect that this year everyone will become each other’s best friends. It didn’t happen last year; it probably won’t happen next year. Let people simply be polite and cordial. That is enough. By the way, you might want to serve non-alcoholic eggnog to reduce the possibilities of fights breaking out!


As for singing, we all have different taste in music. Not to mention, not everyone has a voice that needs to be shared with others. Let those who want to sing, sing. Let those who don’t want to, or shouldn’t, not.


Let the holidays happen in whatever way they do. Take the pressure off yourself. Now that would be a perfect holiday!


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