You know how everyone seems to expect the holidays to be perfect? You may feel pressured to have the perfect presents under the tree (and lots of them). You may be expected to prepare the perfect holiday feast. Maybe you feel like you’re supposed to act perfectly happy and content, even though the holidays remind you of losing someone you loved or having your heart broken or not having someone you love to spend the holidays with. Maybe you think you’re supposed to look a certain way or dress a certain way. Maybe you feel pressured to stuff your feelings and overlook the way your family sometimes hurts you.
Sure, it’s a time to be grateful for what we have. But the holidays don’t have to be perfect. It’s WAY better when they’re just real.
But what does it mean to be real? Margery Williams says it best in The Velveteen Rabbit:
“’Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’
‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.
‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’
‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’
‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.’”