Things are simpler when you are a child and that's ok. They don't care that you tried to make your tree look like one out of the sears catalogue, or the presents don't have bows because you forgot.
I think children are the key to Christmas and to truly be happy you need to channel your inner child and let the rest go.
I came to this epiphany after leaving Chapters the other day with Charlotte. She wanted to buy a book by Usborne that was filled with pages of patterns to cut, fold and glue. Pages and pages of Christmas joy long forgotten by me.
Over the next few days we spent hours folding papers and cutting pieces out to make snowflakes, folding angels and makings garland. Remember that? Cutting out strips of paper and taping them together to make paper chains to decorate the tree?
Spending that time in front of that book brought back memories of a simpler time when Christmas meant more than perfection.
Whenever I would question something, like two coloured being alike on the paper chain, Charlotte would say, " But that's ok," and you know what? it is.
I have decided to try to let go of the ideals of perfection when it comes to the holidays, the fun in the process is better than the end results.
I will let Charlotte wrap presents, sometimes they are horrible balls of paper crumpled and taped beyond recognition but she is having fun. I will make cookies and let her decorate them however she wants, I let her put her paper chains and hand painted wooden ornaments on my "perfectly" coordinated Christmas tree and didn't lose it or cry when one of mine shattered on the floor. (Only a few tears shed on the inside)
When it comes to Christmas it seems the key to be happy, at least for me, is to be 4 years old again. Or at least to relive that though Charlotte's eyes.