One of the things that makes me happy in my life Journey is that as I’ve gotten older I feel less and less judgment towards others. I’ve thought about judgment a lot this year, perhaps because I have seen so much evidence of people judging others or people worried about being judged by others. Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace and joy, not judgment.
I loved this meme a former student posted on Facebook.
She has small children and runs a Montessori program in her home. She is busy. Her children are happy and healthy; I don’t really care if her house is a decorated in a colored themed vision of loveliness and her gifts beautifully wrapped with velvet bows. I hope she has a peaceful, restful Christmas.
Another friend recently had eye surgery and sent an e-mail apologizing for not being able to send Christmas cards this year. No apology necessary; I am happy her vision will be improved. Some people keep track of cards they receive and cross people off their list if their card is not reciprocated. I send cards to people I want to send cards to, even if I don’t get a card in return. I receive beautiful handmade cards from another friend. I feel no envy. I love holiday cards, but it isn’t a blood sport. If you send me a card, I will hang it up in my house. If the thought of sending Christmas cards fills you with dread, then don’t send them. You will get no judgment from me.
For years, people have ridiculed Christmas letters. The sitcom The Middle featured a funny episode where youngest son Brick tries to write a Christmas letter and can’t do it because his family hasn’t done any wonderful things. If you write a Christmas letter, I am happy to read it. I won’t judge your perfect life, or lack thereof, or your spelling errors. My own Christmas letter contained a glaring grammatical error which I spotted only after I had mailed them, and I’m a writer! Facebook has become the modern equivalent of the Christmas letter. Never have I seen more gorgeous family photos than in the past year. I “like” with abandon and don’t try to guess what mess and misery hide behind the perfect facade.
My former colleague Laura recently posted photos of her 1700 homemade cookies.
I can almost hear the snide remarks about Martha Stewart like overachievement. Laura likes to bake and often gives away her home made goodies throughout the year. If you hate to bake, buy some treats at a store. I won’t judge you either way.
Pinterest and Blogs are full of beautiful Christmas images.
There has been backlash, such as this article Overachieving Moms are ruining my Christmas, or this one Is Pinterest Making a Misery out of Motherhood? If Pinterest is making you miserable, stop going there. If you can’t read blogs without feeling like you are a failure, stop reading them or find a different blog.
My house may not be as lovely as all the beautiful pictures in my Instagram feed, but I enjoy looking at them. I appreciate the effort of the person who took the time and care to create something beautiful. It gives me something to aspire to, though I do not feel inadequate if my home fails to measure up. Eleanor Roosevelt said it best, ” No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. “
If you can achieve a magical Christmas vision like the ones in the photos, good for you. If you plop up a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, stuff some store bought stockings with oranges and call it a day, so be it. It’s your Christmas, do whatever makes you happy, whether it includes yards of garland and thousands of shiny bulbs or a deer head ensconced with a wreath.
My wish for you today is peace, love and a judgment free Christmas.