You’ve made your list, you’ve checked it twice. Oh, no, not that list – I’m talking about the list you’ve made of the 1022 ½ things you need to get done for the Holidays, everything from the perfect gift for Cousin Henry, to the perfect surprise for your sweetheart, to the perfect outfit for that Holiday get-together, to the perfect menu for the Holiday meal, to the perfect cleaning of your home so your oh-so-imperfect relatives will approve . . . the list goes on.

As you slog through the malls, the Internet, your local shops, the catalogues that overflow your mailbox, you get increasingly distraught, because it seems like the perfect whatever (gift for Cousin Henry, outfit, menu, cleaning, etc.) eludes you. You flail in indecision hell, where you can’t decide what is more perfect, but you can’t give up, because come on! The Holidays are upon us and everybody expects you to get it perfect, whether it’s baking Holiday goodies, setting a Martha Stewart table, or selecting a one-of-a-kind gift.

Soon you’re muttering “I hate the Holidays” under your breath, and wishing you could just dump the whole season and go veg on a beach somewhere. Where they never heard of Holidays. Or Hallmark. Or Santa Claus. Where wrapping paper hasn’t even been invited. Aargh!

You’ve been taken over by the Perfection Grinch. Although the Perfection Grinch can hit at any time, the Grinch’s favorite time of year to invade your entire being is – you guessed it – the Holidays. The Grinch positively gloats with manic glee as he watches you transform from happy Holiday-loving person to frustrated, irritated, Holiday-hating perfection mini-grinch.

There’s only one cure, but it’s a sure one. Accept that you aren’t perfect. Accept that you’ll never please all of the people all of the time. Accept that the Holidays are above all, a time for appreciating Spirit and the wonderful people in our lives with love, smiles, joy, and laughter. The Perfection Grinch cannot withstand hugs or belly-laughs.

Once you let go of the Perfection Grinch, you can enjoy choosing gifts – because if Cousin Henry hates whatever it is, guess what? He can exchange it for something he prefers. You can enjoy planning the Holiday menu, because guess what? There’s always enough variety so everyone will find at least one thing they like to eat. You can have fun picking out an outfit you really like, because guess what? Some people will compliment you and some won’t and you can choose to only hear the compliments.

But most of all, when you release perfection, you can start to live the Holidays as what they are meant to be - a joyous celebration for you and yours.

Author's Bio: 

Noelle C. Nelson, Ph.D., is a relationship expert, popular speaker in the U.S. and abroad, and author of nine best-selling books, including her most recent, Your Man is Wonderful and Dangerous Relationships. Dr. Nelson focuses on how we can all enjoy happy, fulfilling lives while accomplishing great things in love, at home and at work, as we appreciate ourselves, our world and all others. Visit,