Monday, January 3, 2011

The Art of Resisting Perfection

“People throw away what they could have by insisting on perfection, which they cannot have, and looking for it where they will never find it”

~Edith Schaeffer

No matter who you are or how you celebrate, there are plenty of things that distract us from what the holidays are truly about. We are so driven to ensure that everyone has a memorable holiday. Did I purchase the perfect gift at the perfect price, all wrapped with the perfect bow? We drive ourselves crazy insisting that everyone's favorite holiday treats are there to enjoy, and that every gingerbread man is perfectly iced.

This holiday season was less than perfect for my family. Perhaps it is better off being described as a comedy of errors. With two family members unexpectedly hospitalized, another sent to the hospital for a rather unexpected surgery, another with food poisoning, and three others just making it to town on the last flight out of New York, it was a miracle that we rebounded enough to declare a do-over. Although the holidays were anything but what we all expected, it was things like the rental car dashboard greeting us with "Hi Stupid!", the white elephant re-gift to a child that proudly announced that "C is for Crack," and my 90 year old grandma proudly dancing and singing "The Beaver Song" that got us all through.

Prior to the real drama commencing, I opened a Christmas gift that didn't make a whole lot of sense, but turned out to be one I really feel I earned. It was a white t-shirt that read, "Best Actress in a Continuing Drama." Who knew how absolutely appropriate that would be. Everything from panicking over how many pounds of lunch meat to buy, to how we would find a store open at 7pm on Christmas Eve, to decorating a room in a nursing home to make it look inviting; all while keeping it together just enough not to cry?  The acting from all parties involved was better than any movie I've ever seen.

This year, the greatest Christmas gift wasn't the Muppet named Shirley I'm Bananas, designed by my dad and stepmom, it wasn't the new set of kitchen knives I so desperately needed. It was the gift of imperfections, adorned with a Christmas bow, and the gingerbread cookies frosted to look like the art of the great Andy Warhol. Here's a secret, they still tasted the same.

Needless to say, we needed a less than perfect holiday to remind us that lunch meat, 7 layer dip, and poorly frosted cookies are just as fine of a meal as the perfect steak from the perfect restaurant; as long as all the right actors are present to celebrate with you.

Happy Christmas.. and Happy New Year,

AbHb, 2010's Best Actress in a Continuing Drama