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.

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Excellent post! Thanks for reminding us to slow down and enjoy what really matters. Best wishes for a joyful holiday!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. marsharwest says:

      He, Joanne. I was so busy yesterday, I never got back to our blog. Thanks so much for finding time to stop by. Easy to get caught up. Best to you, too. 🙂


  2. Kathryn Jane says:

    Yes! I love this post.
    We too have simplified. Just the two of us, a couple of stockings filled with silly but everyday useful stuff, and a lovely turkey dinner for two 😀

    Happy Holidays, Marsha!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. marsharwest says:

      Hey, Kathryn. Thanks for the reblog and yes,it’s nice to simplify. We celebrated last night at ny older daughters. The grands once again got too much. LOL But I remember that from when our daughters were little. We are blessed. We’ll go to church this evening and drive around looking at lights. Then tomorrow church and dinner with good friends and their family. Have a lovely holiday. Thanks for stopping by.


  3. I really enjoyed your Christmas post, Marsha. I’m going to take your advice and play it cool…lol…tomorrow evening. I normally want everything perfect also. After mass we will set up an hor d’oeuvres dinner. My youngest son requested this. When they were young we often had hor d’oeuvres on Christmas Eve. This year everyone is bringing two hor d’oeuvres. I’m making three and will provide a few extras in the way of cookies, sweets, and treats.

    Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. marsharwest says:

      Hey, Susan. Hope this post was more to your liking than my own yesterday. LOL I love hor d’oeuvres suppers. My very favorite. Have a wonderful Christmas. Thanks for stopping by here.


  4. S.A.Taylor says:

    Such a great reminder, Marsha! I love how you compared this to perfecting our books. I also appreciate the recipe for the champagne punch. Definitely going to try this out 🙂 Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. marsharwest says:

      Hey, Stephanie. Glad you enjoyed the post. and I know you’ll love the punch. Merry Christmas. I love our sisterhood. 🙂


  5. Jeannie Hall says:

    Reblogged this on Jeannie Hall Suspense and commented:

    Holiday cheer with a punch recipe!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. marsharwest says:

      Hey, Jeannie. Thanks for reblog. Pretty sure you’ll love the punch. Merry Christmas.


  6. I think we get so caught up in making things perfect for those we love that we, as wives, mothers, grandmothers, lose the joy in Christmas ourselves.
    My daughter is the same, she has a different holiday activity planned for every day leading up to the big event!
    Oh well, it’s once a year, right? 🙂
    Happy holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marsharwest says:

      Hey, Jacquie. Oh wow! Bless your daughter’s heart. But if it makes her happy as well as everyone esle, that’s okay. Thanks so much for stopping by. Happy Holidays to you, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. vicki says:

    Hi, Marsha! First, am so glad you aren’t moving to Vermont. teeheehee. And love the champagne recipe as champagne is my fav drink. What has helped me distress is making gifts ahead of time. Buying all year round instead of at the last minute. Put up Christmas lights in October. No one said you have to turn them on and the weather is nicer too. And don’t bake. Assemble the gift. Baking is fun and delicious but stressful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. marsharwest says:

      Hey, Vicki. It was a fun FB game. 🙂 Glad I got caught in it.My post inspired some interesting responses. Can’t leave my lakehouse. I like the idea of getting the gifts ahead of time.(Probably not going to make them myself.) But then my problem is I forget where I’ve put them. Didn’t have that happen this year because of the move and I found them in May and kept up with them. I didn’t bake this year at all. Made two cheese balls. Haven’t done that since a young mom. Gosh the Philadelphia cream cheese is easier to work with than I remembered. LOL I didn’t bake because I would’ve eaten too many of my Grandma’s cookies. Maybe next year. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas, Vicki. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

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