I go back and reread my blogs from this very day for the last few years. In 2010, I wrote about giving yourself the gift of novelty. In 2011, it was about the wonder of pop-up books. In 2012? All about sledding. The next year, I thought about my favorite traditions on Christmas.
Today, I think about how thankful I am just to relax with family without needing to impress anyone. When you know you are deeply loved and deeply secure, you stop trying to impress. You get in your pajamas, take a bubble bath, and plan out the Christmas movies for the evening. The family never wanted picture-perfect; they wanted you, in your pajamas, relaxing.
Sure, everything happened that was supposed to happen, but it happened without the motivation of impressing. I can't explain the change other than to say I finally learned that nobody really cares if your peppermint bark layers detach en route to the teachers, if your Christmas Tree Rice Krispie Treats ooze butter and marshmallows because you added the wrong amounts, or if you forget to vacuum before the neighbors pop in.
Nobody cares if your present-wrapping absolutely stinks. People want what's inside anyway.
People want you, relaxing, without needing to impress.
Then, you find you really can experience all the Christmas joys.