Perfectly Imperfect Holiday

I LOVE the holidays! LOVE them! I love having people over and setting a huge table and having lots of great food and laughter and fun.  The more the merrier. 

That is – up to ten people. I only have place settings for ten people.  My table expands to ten, I have ten matching napkins, ten gold pointsettia napkin rings. Ten.

So imagine my chagrin when one year, at the last minute, my son told me he was bringing his friend to dinner on Christmas day.  My VERY first thought was, "NO! NO! We don't have eleven napkins! Things won't match! I'll have to drag out a folding table that isn't even the same height as my dining room table! Oh, the horror! The shame and degradation!"

Okay, so I am inclined to fabulate sometimes. But I think you know where I'm going with this. My first automatic, knee jerk response was to fall back on my need to have everything just perfect when company comes over.  But the good news is that my need to create a happy, loving, healthy family where people can make reasonable (and sometimes even unreasonable) requests and get them met, is even stronger. 

So after doing hand-to-hand combat in my brain with Ms. Perfection, I finally wrestled her to the ground. I looked in her panic stricken little eyeballs and I said, "Listen girl, I get it. You want things to be perfect. Your mom gave you that dubious gift and you're just dancing to her drumbeat.  But this is a new day and a new time and your son, Miles is WAY more important than your need for your napkins to match. Let it go girlfriend. Let it go. Focus on the fun! Focus on the great food! Focus on the laughter! Be CRAZY grateful for the fact that he wants to share you and John with his friend on Christmas!"

And it worked! I ultimately made peace with my table(s) and my one single strange napkin. Miles' friend came and we all had a blast and NO ONE scoffed at my table! No one even raised an eyebrow.  In fact, no one even noticed.  We were all having too much fun.

I invite you to remember this story when things don't match this season, when you can't make them "perfect," or when the picture doesn't look the way you thought it should look.  With just a tiny shift in perspective, everything really could be perfectly imperfect.

Motivational speaker, Linda Larsen, hoping for eleven…


Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen, CSP has been described by meeting planners and audiences as "hysterically funny," and "riveting." Known for her ability to connect on an authentic and emotional level with audiences, her spontaneous sense of humor, and her engaging and powerful stories, Linda is passionate about sharing ideas to help people live their finest, best, and most productive lives. Her riveting and true story of being kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by an escaped convict, and the strategies she used to escape, will give people the tools THEY need to rise above any of life's toughest challenges, to communicate more effectively with THEIR difficult person, and to find creative solutions to THEIR problems. To book motivational speaker, Linda Larsen: 941-927-4700

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  1. Ahhhhh. I just love this story. Hilarious (loved the part where you wrestled yourself to the ground) and poignant. That poor little mismatched napkin. I would have stressed too. And you're right, nobody notices those things. And if they do, well we need to say a little prayer for them who hath nothing better to do than that. And blessed is the person who gets invited to your house. Christmas or not. I wish I was there right now. If I close my eyes, click my heels, and say, "There's no place like Linda's home. There's no place like Linda's home."

    Nope. Didn't work. I'm still here. Oh well. Guess I'll take a bath instead.

  2. You know I love this because I am you with the perfection thingy. In fact, I've been in this situation BUT did end up giving myself the odd napkin, odd plate, odd whatever. I started with 12 of everything, but we party a bit hard at times. So, the next time this beautiful opportunity to grow shows up in my life, that funky napkin is going to someone else and NOT a member of my family either. And NO napkin ring either!!

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