All that anticipation.
Making sure that everything gets done perfectly. Pinteresting all the adorable how-to’s.
Getting the dinner preparations done ahead of time and checking lists not only once but three times!
With so much work that goes into a day like Christmas, when it is done, it kind of feels like a shock. All this effort and it’s kind of a whirlwind. Sometimes, in the end, you overworked and usually underappreciated. While all this work may feel like it goes unnoticed. It really doesn’t. Because if you ever decide NOT to do it, people will notice that there is something missing. So please, don’t feel discouraged.
Remember, you ARE imperative for a successful Christmas! (Whether you want to believe it or not!)
I will be talking about elegance after my quick recap of dinner!
But on a side note.
My Plant-Based Christmas
For those who don’t know, my husband and I are trying to eat as healthy as possible (read here for the little story)! Which means eating lots of fruits and vegetables.
So this Christmas, I decided to cook a plan-based meal. I know, I know. I can hear everyone saying, “But it’s the holidays, you can splurge a little bit!”
And to be honest, I did.
But I also wanted to see for myself if I could make such an important meal entirely plant-based and have other people (besides my husband) enjoy it!
It wasn’t entirely awful!
But I did cook a couple Cornish hens for some people who preferred a little meat.
I made a couple mistakes.
One – to mash the potatoes, I added roasted sesame seed oil. Oh goodness, that was disgusting (good thing there was some gravy)
Two – oh the gravy! Okay, this wasn’t a mistake exactly. But it was very mushroom-y which isn’t a bad thing, but it just tasted too much like mushroom soup!!! But honestly, I needed to thin it out. No one seemed to mind it though (…or they could be very polite 🙂 )
I rocked two things really well though!
First, the lentil loaf. This one was so good, it tasted like a Christmas loaf and I know I could have tweaked it to make it more festive. Next time. But it was great! I will totally make it again and again.
Second, the chocolate cake. Yes. Chocolate cake with a ganache. And all plant-based. This was a huge hit and everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy it! (I was so excited about it!)
The worst thing… I was so wrapped up in making this dinner, I forgot to take any pictures!
I will take some pictures of the loaf but I have the little piece of cake! Finished it off with the husband and a overly poured glass of wine!
After everyone left, we tucked into a movie and some cake! We didn’t even get plates. Just the serving plate and a fork.
We go all out when we are alone 😉
But besides my Christmas dinner, I wanted to really talk about thinking back on the day and seeing where you could improve as a person.
There is something about family that really just can bring out the worst in people.
For me, it can be the little digs or the questions. I’m sure you feel the same way.
Think of how you handled all the situations you faced.
In what ways could you have enhanced your elegance?
Did you feel that you did so with dignity and poise? Did you let others get the best of you? What about the feeling you contributed to in the room?
Louise trying to be so sneaky. Little does she know she won’t ever have this chocolate cake.
But after this picture she got a little treat for being so persistent! (and adorable!)
Even if you look back and are a bit ashamed of how you reacted to a situation, or knowing that you could have handled something a bit better. Don’t be embarrassed or upset. I know it’s so easy to keep replaying it over and over in your head. I used to do it so much but in reality, it was really just driving me crazy!
Let this be a wonderful lesson to learn from.
See how you were around Christmastime, because for many it can be such a stressful time of year.
There are family traditions that one might love and the other might hate. There is a dinner that some people expect the certain dishes. Children asking questions. Money situations are all different and wondering if you spent too much OR too little. Putting a whole bunch of family in a house and expecting everything to be jolly and merry.
Well, just listing all that off sounds a bit stressful.
If you found that you were proud of how everything went off and how you were, then I give you all the credit in the world because it is so darn hard! Especially for us women because not only are we making sure everything tastes great, but we are also hoping our house is clean enough and the decorations are perfect!
It can be so hard being a woman around the holidays! 🙂
But if you’re like me, you raised your voice one too many times. You most likely burnt the vegetables. Probably even forgot to put up some decorations and that corny tradition that you “forgot” about. Being poised on this day is a hard task.
So I want all of us to learn from it. Ask yourself…
1) Why did I let my feelings get the best of me?
2) How was I feeling at that moment where I did something I wasn’t proud of?
3) What could have been different to make me less stressed?
Try to fully answer them. That way next time you have a gathering, you can try to prevent any more additional stress. You can possibly predict what will be a trigger for you to yell and maybe find ways to work around it. You might even be able to get help where you really need it!
But don’t forget to be positive too!!
1) What was I most proud of today?
2) What did I do that I want to keep on doing?
3) What practices did I use that really worked well for keeping my composure?
A couple strategies I use are…
1) Remember, in the bigger picture, it’s not a big deal.
2) Don’t forget to breathe and be patient. Sometimes people aren’t as much in a rush as you are.
3) Try to enjoy yourself, and eventually you’ll find yourself not even trying any more.
Being poised and elegant all the time is extremely hard, and almost unattainable. However, if you use every single day and every little opportunity to make yourself better, then you will achieve elegance and appear poised many of the days.
Which is what we want. Attainable poise, not perfection!
Did anything put you over the edge this Christmas?
What do you think works for you to attain elegance for the whole day?
I would love to find out what works for you! Let me know in the comments below!
Let's Keep it Elegant!
I would love to keep in touch with you!
Connect with all my social media accounts and let’s keep the conversation going!