I scrolled through Pinterest, my eyes danced across the page looking at image after image. I caught myself being distracted by the “11 mind-blowing ways to use Kool-Aid” headline. “There’s more than one way to use Kool-Aid?” I thought to myself, but I refused to click the link—I was on a mission. I was going to be a crafty. I was going to make a DIY advent calendar this holiday season.
I found my tutorial. It looked cute (I checked off box number one on my imaginary list of advent calendar criteria), it looked easy (that’s box number two), and I had most of the supplies already (box number three—we had a hat trick). Perfect.
"In my mind, I was already creating this exquisite piece of holiday art."
I pictured the calendar in my head…filled with the most lovely LUX goodies, a few Christmas ornaments for the tree, maybe I’d throw in some tiny JACEK chocolates. I already had my colour scheme picked out—blue, red, white and silver—traditional Scandinavian Christmas colours that my family adores. In my mind, I was already creating this exquisite piece of holiday art.
And then, as I began to bring my vision to life, something changed. It wasn’t Pinterest perfect, not at all. My gift boxes were too big to stick to the wall like they were supposed to. The gifts inside failed to help. A symmetrical Christmas tree was not going to happen, and my hand lettering left little to be desired. I felt embarrassed and like I couldn’t do anything right.
Social media has a way of making us feel that way, doesn’t it? But I know that’s not true—I can do so many things right. I can run half marathons, and write long stories, and craft a magnificent French braid. But my advent calendar failure had me thinking I was no good, that I had nothing to offer.
"Your time spent with loved ones won’t be ruined if your tree isn’t perfectly colour-coordinated, or your DIY advent calendar looks a little off (in fact, I like to think it adds character)."
I think for most of us, this feeling is far too common—especially around the holiday season. There’s this unspoken pressure to make things picture perfect. Your home must be fully decorated by Dec. 1, the presents under the tree must be impeccably wrapped, and you better get that turkey juuust right. I looked down at my pile of tiny wrapped boxes that I thought were a disaster and realized, this is still a thoughtful endeavour– and it’s OK if things aren’t perfect.
The holiday season is about creating memories with your family and friends. Your time spent with loved ones won’t be ruined if your tree isn’t perfectly colour-coordinated, or your DIY advent calendar looks a little off (in fact, I like to think it adds character). What matters most is the love and care that went into those 25 tiny wrapped boxes, and the happiness that comes from opening them.
So for this holiday season, I’m going to relax, embrace life’s quirks and revel in the holiday moments that bring me joy, like opening day one of an advent calendar, and I hope that you do the same.
PS: If you want to try making your own advent calendar, here’s the tutorial. It may not have worked out for me, but there is some cute potential here. Finding the treats to fill it with was definitely the easy part; we have dozens of advent-calendar-sized treats at LUX that would light up anyone’s day. Come in and we’ll help you find gifts that make you and your loved ones smile.