When Christmas Isn’t Picture Perfect

When Christmas Isn't Picture Perfect

Social Media can be pretty cruel during the holidays. When most folks are posting about their perfect trees, perfect matching PJs, perfect wrapping paper, perfect Christmas Cards and of course the perfect families.

Not all of us have perfect lives to post. So it makes it hard to go through all the posts and not be a little sad about our own lives and mental states. Like the moms who have just divorced, the dads who have lost their wives to cancer, the wife who just lost her spouse or other family member to suicide. Or anyone who has lost a job, child, parent or received the diagnosis of cancer or some other disease.

I remember when my husband lost his job many years ago. We scrambled to make sure our kids had something to unwrap for Christmas but it was so sad. You feel miserable for your kids and you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. But we made it through. I can’t fathom those who have it worse. My heart certainly breaks for those going through all the bad stuff in life and not feeling like you have any hope. The pain, I am sure, is immense. The loneliness, depression and worse.

Please know this. Christmas isn’t about perfect or even good. It’s not about the presents, food or even family. Christmas is about the birth of Baby Jesus. That’s it. So Simplify. Remind the family and the kids. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty. If you can’t afford to do the neighborhood gift exchange, or give gifts to everyone in the extended family or even buy a lot for your kids, just don’t do it. It’s not a competition and you are not required to go broke for Baby Jesus’s sake. I promise you.


While it may be difficult for you for whatever reason, tell people what you need. Do you need time with just friends? Do you need a good friend to let you vent, cry, scream etc.? Tell someone what you need. Please.

Christmas doesn’t have to be “picture perfect”. Not even close. Remember the real reason for the season. And you know what? Post your “imperfect Christmas” pictures. The more real the better. I always do. My family celebrations are more like the Griswold’s than the Vanderbilt’s for sure. And I’m not even upset about it.

SO, here is a list of some things you can do during the holidays for free or really cheap. And could be picture fun too:

  • Drive around neighborhoods and rate the best lights/decorations.
  • Visit a mall Santa and get pictures with your spouse or bestie. It’s not just for kids!
  • Go to a Christmas Eve service. There’s just something about a candle light service.
  • Dollar store’s have great little nick knacks to give as gifts.
  • Dollar movies showing Holiday films.
  • Christmas music on the radio.
  •  Visit a retirement home and take little candies around to the residents.
  • Help with a mission project for those who are in a worse situation than yourself.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. No matter what you are going through. Please remember that while it seems things are so bad, there are people to reach out too. They say that most crisis’s generally last only 14 days. And prayer does work!

Merry Christmas from Midlife Margaritas!

National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

25 thoughts on “When Christmas Isn’t Picture Perfect

  1. Thanks for posting this. I know it’s a difficult time for so many people—suffering from loss, depression and heartache. Here’s my prayers for them: May the love of our Lord shine upon your path and lead you out of the darkness. May the approaching New Year give you hope for happiness. 🙏⭐️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One of the most difficult years was when we were dealing with unemployment and could not afford Christmas. We made sure our daughter was covered. Imagine our surprise when a secret Santa pile of presents showed up.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The best Christmas I had was last year. It was a few days before Christmas, while waiting on a grocery line, the woman in front of me was having a hard time affording her $89 food bill. She ran her credit card and it was declined. She took a few things off the line and had the cashier run her credit card again. It was declined. She got her bill down to $65 by putting more groceries back, ran the card and it was still declined. You could see she was buying food for a family dinner plus some inexpensive gifts for her children. She put all the gifts back and ran her card again. This time for $34 and her credit card went through. The woman didn’t scramble for another card. I knew this card was it for her for the holidays. This was really all she had. As the woman was packing her groceries I asked her if I could ask her a question “Could I please buy all your groceries for you?” I asked her. She quietly said no. Then I asked her “Could I at least buy you that chocolate cake (she put back)?” “It’s Christmas time” I said. “No woman should go without chocolate over Christmas”. With that she laughed and told me ‘OK’ and I bought her chocolate cake for $10. I didn’t even realize it but the woman threw her arms around me and gave me the greatest hug. It was the best, nicest hug I ever got in my life.
    I shall never forget this woman.
    I’m certain she will never forget me.
    It was the greatest gift I had ever given anyone. And it was the greatest gift ever given to me. It was the best Christmas I ever had. And if it ever happens again, I will gladly help anyone else out on the grocery line. NO one….and I mean NO ONE should ever go without food! Especially during the holidays.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Good for you. I actually did this, but in reverse. I bought her groceries with the exception of her ice cream and pastries. I know God nudged me to pay for her stuff—must have been a slap from the devil that told me not to pay for her sweets.
      I regret doing the devil’s deed. 😬🎄😘

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I have come to realize (through social media, of course) that we all want to put on a happy face even when we aren’t happy. I am so guilty of it too. If I am having a bad day or have been crying and someone comes to the door, I put a happy face on. You say my eyes are red? Oh, must have been those onions I was cutting earlier.

    I feel like no one is always happy or without problems, no matter what Facebook or Instagram says. I hope most people can keep that in mind. That we are all imperfectly trying to live perfect lives and it just doesn’t work.

    I love this post so much for so many reasons. As someone who suffers from anxiety, this post was a much-needed eye-opener.

    Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a great post. I hope young people read it. I’d really hate to be young now and be bombarded with IG stuff. I gave my 36 year old daughter a book called “You are Awesome,” after I heard the author on NPR. He pretty much states that social media is ruining everyone’s lives because it’s making people feel inferior. So sad. We had some really lean years. Thank goodness our daughters were really young then. They had nothing to compare our Christmases to. I remember being so excited because I got a stuffed animal for $4. With a Snuggles coupon! Not a bad thing to experience. Hope you have a fabulous holiday! Keep on writing!

    Liked by 1 person

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