In Praise of the “Good Enough Holiday”

“Good enough may not only be good enough, but actually best”
-Deborah Needleman (in reference to Holiday gatherings and decorating)

This weekend, I read a wonderfully thought-provoking article in the New York Times.  No, it wasn’t the op-ed piece featured on the first page of the paper yesterday, although that was phenomenal.  It was the personal essay at the beginning of the Times Style Magazine, “The Good Enough Holiday”.

This year, as stories that have dominated my life for years draw to a close (how freeing it is to have a respite from the fear of bad blood tests, re-growth of tumours, or worse yet, the growth of new tumours), and as I realize the kids are getting older, I’ve found myself wanting a quieter holiday.  An escape from the maniacal pace of years past; the frantic acquisition of presents for the kids, the pressure to make every day of December extra magical or extra fun, and the desire to document it all in a scrapbook.  I simply want to enjoy all that this time of year has to offer; and relish those little traditions that the kids are slowly growing out of (not sure how many more years the kids are going to want to watch a Curious George Christmas!).

And ironically, as I’ve let go of the preconceived notions of what I want this month to look like, to feel like, to be for me, the kids, the family, we’ve ended up having the best December yet.  We’ve actually done a Christmas-y thing every day this month.  We’re actually making our way through the mountain of Christmas crafts that I’ve amassed over the last few years, and we’ve been having FUN doing them.  And in the slower pace we’ve set this month, I’m learning what it is about this season that my kids love, what they treasure, and what they want to keep doing each year.


I think it’s because of this new mindset that the Times article resonated so deeply with me today, and especially the concluding line of the piece:

“That which is recorded on the heart is, alas, not Instagrammable”

And so, as I spend some time this afternoon planning out what we’ll be up to this week, I will do so mindfully of what we all enjoy most and how we can get the most out of this wonderful time of year; not what will look best in photos.




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