Rushing here. Rushing there. Where’s my list? Who gets what? How can we afford it? Will everyone have a good time at the party? Will they like the punch? Will we have enough food? Are my decorations as good as my neighbors?

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And on and on, the questions plague those of us caught up in the holidaze.

In reality, this was me as a young mom. Not so much now as a retired elementary school principal and romantic suspense author. In the past, I found the holidays stressful beyond belief. I wish my younger self had been not so much a perfectionist. I wish I’d been able to just let go and enjoy the family and friends without all the stress of getting it perfect.

Here’s my mother’s Champagne Punch Recipe.


1 Batch

1 6 oz can frozen orange juice

1 cup lemon juice

2 ½ cups cranberry juice

2 ½ cups pineapple juice

1 cup Sugar. (I omit)

Mix and put in frig for a few hours

Just before serving, add:

1 Qt. Gingerale

3/5ths Champagne (think that’s one bottle)

I usually double the recipe.  (You can serve it without the Champagne.)

It’s only through maturity I’ve learned the value of “good enough.” That doesn’t mean you slack off and give only partial effort at the task. But it means learning that most things will not be perfect. They may be nice, wonderful, exciting without being perfect, and that is good enough.

It’s kind of like with our books. I don’t believe there are any published books that don’t have “errors” either of the grammar or spacing kind. Then we all know one more swipe through will improve it. But tweaking it just one more time may just be our reaching for a perfection that doesn’t exist.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe in editing. I want lots of people’s eyes on my work before it gets “born.” And it’s frustrating when each time a pair of eyes look at my words, something else appears. Maybe it’s only tiny, but still. You have to come to a “good enough.” Let the darling go and begin the next book.

If you’re feeling really frazzled this season, look at the things you’re expecting yourself to do. Just because your mother baked that cake, do you need to? Just because you’ve always had the big Christmas Day dinner at your house, maybe you could change it up? Do a buffet where everyone brings something. Draw names instead of getting something for everyone.

One of my good friends who I always buy a Santa for, said this year let’s not give gifts. We really don’t need any more stuff. I was glad to do that. So far, I hadn’t been able to find the Santa that was “perfect.” But I do have a small jar of scrumptious Wild Maine Blueberry Jam for many friends including her this year. Made in America. Not expensive. You can eat it and recycle the jar. No accumulation of more stuff. The perfect gift.  img_4807

LOL Okay, so it’s a little backslide.

For many of us, we’re at the point we’re able to get what we need, when we need it, throughout the year. If you know people who aren’t like that, lend a helping hand. This is a great time to send money to your favorite charity or two. Generally, this holiday is all about family and friends. If you’re not near loved ones, consider volunteering at a soup kitchen or shelter.

However you celebrate, I hope you’ll slow down, cut yourself some slack, and make it a Good Enough Holiday.