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Plan for the season.
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Episode 91: There’s No Such Thing as a Perfect Holiday

Between the food and decorations, the laughter and love, the holidays can feel magical. But let’s be real: the holidays don’t always look like a Hallmark movie, even if you try. Because beneath the tinsel and elaborate centerpieces, real life is still here. If you’re feeling stressed from too much holiday pressure, or miffed by a kid who keeps messing up the holiday photo, or even if you’re not sure grief will let you celebrate in the first place, it’s okay—no holiday is perfect. If you’re looking to get the day back on track, Emily has a few things you could try. But if that’s not possible for you this year, then sister, we’re holding you in our hearts—please know you’re not alone in this season. ❤️


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Thought-Provoking Quotes

I think it’s natural to go into the holidays with rose-colored glasses on. When the rest of our days can feel a bit stressful, it seems like holidays should be exempt from the “normal” problems we have to deal with. Oh, if only that were true.” Emily Ley

“Life doesn’t take a backseat at the holidays, does it? As much as we wish we could make a perfect holiday, even if we felt like the holidays were perfect when we were little kids, I’m afraid that’s not the reality we live in. Because if you look at any painting of a landscape, there are shades of light and dark. There have to be, so that we can see the picture the artist is trying to show us.” Emily Ley

“When you decide that your holiday doesn’t have to be perfect, you’re letting yourself off the hook to make it perfect. The day instantly transforms from one of performance, to one of enjoyment.” Emily Ley

“Let’s be real for a sec: sometimes the holidays can’t be salvaged. Not to be a Debbie Downer, you guys, but I think this is real, and it’s important to acknowledge. Not every holiday is going to be a good holiday. That’s especially true when sickness and loss have made their way into your life.” Emily Ley

“As much as you can, hold room in your heart for new memories, and for new people. In some seasons, that’s a whole lot easier said than done. And that’s okay. Just know that this holiday season, I hope you get to enjoy the best holiday that’s available to you as much as humanly possible.”  Emily Ley


A Blessing for Your Week

I hope you give yourself the grace to say, “This holiday won’t be perfect.”

If you need to, I hope you have the courage to tell someone else, “I can’t do that this year, but here’s what I do have capacity for.”

And above all, I hope you get to experience the day with the people you love, and remember the love of those who have been there in years before.

Simplicity Tip of the Week

On Thanksgiving, do you ever find yourself needing to buy some time because you kind of underestimated how long it would take for a whole turkey to cook? Yeah, me too. You know what can save your bacon in those moments and keep hangry family members out of the kitchen? Snacks. Lots and lots of snacks.

Listen, you can’t have your father, the turkey junkie, coming in the kitchen every five minutes asking for an update. But you can go to Costco and get a huge jar of mixed nuts and put the said mixed nuts in little bowls around the living room. You can get the pre-made charcuterie platters, and boxes of crackers, and fruit and veggie trays and just set them out for people to munch on. I know it’s Thanksgiving, but it doesn’t have to be fancy!

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