A Perfectionist’s Guide to the Holidays

So Maxie wrote this guest post about the holidays. Of course, I was nodding my head the whole time I read it for the first time. And then! I realized that while it’s great for the holidays, the whole list is basically applicable for the rest of the year, too.
A Perfectionist’s Guide to the Holidays
Guest Post by Maxie McCoy
This time of year brings out the inner perfectionist in all of us, one that is wrapped in perfectly gold-and-white polka dotted paper and tastes like peppermint.
It’s intense. We want to buy the best gifts. We want to have the perfect, sparkly dress for that holiday party. We want our Christmas cards to be the most creative ones hanging on everyone’s kitchen door. Holiday decorations gotta’ be impeccable. And don’t even get me started on how creative the elf on the shelf must be.
We all end up on a perfectionist rager this time of year. It causes us to get tense, to act out, get overwhelmed, and judge ourselves, a lot. And by letting that version of ourselves take control, we miss out on the bigger picture by obsessing (like this) over the little things. Let’s just say, this is not a time when we’re our highest and best self, but it should be. 
I’m on a quest to tame that brat of a perfectionist that comes out and says “it’s not good enough. You’re not good enough, Maxie.” Like the one that came out screaming while searching for the absolute “perfect” holiday card to send to my brother. He can’t be with us this Christmas because he’s deployed, so I spent an absurd amount of time in the card aisle. Absurd. 
Sound familiar? It happens to the best of us. Here’s how we can help ourselves when the holiday perfectionist starts freaking out:
Allow Yourself One Thing
There are way too many things to do, to be perfect at all of them. If you need to let your perfectionist shine, pick one thing that she gets to be her crazy self at. Whether that’s holiday presents that literally took you seven hours to wrap, or the treats you slaved over. Pick one and go all out. But that’s it. The rest can be good enough. For me that is cards. I spent an entire night painting my own holiday cards, and I couldn’t be happier with how much time I spent in perfecting them… everything else can take the perfectionist back seat.
Ask Yourself What Really Matters
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to pause and ask what all of this is about. Is it about the love of your family? Well, they’re going to care about you no matter how cute your holiday dress is. Whatever is the real joy behind your holidays, either giving back or being filled with love, focus on that. The rest won’t matter as much. Perspective is such a beautiful thing.
Watch Brene
Brene Brown has one of my absolute favorite books and Ted Talks about the power of vulnerability. When we revel in our perfectionism, it’s actually a guard and inability to be vulnerable. We refuse to see ourself as enough. We keep on this armor of perfectionism to get more and to be likeable. But it won’t ever work. We must be vulnerable and thus OK with imperfection. But that starts with loving yourself first. This lady will so make you think twice about your perfectionism.
Indulge in Some Holiday Sweets
No seriously. Do it. And relaxxxxx.
However your perfectionist is showing up this season, do what you can to reconnect with the holiday spirit instead. Have any best tips for taming your perfection tendencies? Let us all know in the comments below, we overachievers need all the help we can get. 

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Audrey Lin

I've been seeing so many posts about perfectionism! The favorite tip I've come across so far is to purposely make a mistake (of course, not if you're a brain surgeon or something haha). It would be a very unusual and perhaps cathartic experience. Anyways, my college has a cute little tradition where we (freshwomen) ask a sophomore (or three) to be our Heller(s) for Hell Week (it's one of the most fun traditions at my college and everyone gets super hyped about it). Hell Week isn't until February, but it's such a big tradition that most freshwomen ask their Hellers before winter break so that there's enough time to plan for everything. Asking your Heller is a huge part of the Hell Week tradition. It's kind of like a promposal. I wanted to ask my Hellers in the most extravagant way with the cutest little gifts. I wanted to do something they'd never forget! But alas it's the end of the semester and I've been swamped with work. I ended up asking my Hellers in less than perfect ways, but it was still great, and I'm super excited for Hell Week in February! I guess I'm just sharing this to show that perfectionism can be beat! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

Lauren Scorzafava

One thing I have an easy time just letting it be, is wrapping. I'm terrible at wrapping presents so they either end up looking just okay or I shove them in a gift bag. Gift bags are my best friend! I've learned to just pop a bow on it and let it be!

Lauren Elizabeth
Petite in Pearls