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What If You Can’t Have A Picture Perfect Christmas?

At this time of year, we are presented with many visions of a Picture Perfect Christmas. These Perfect Christmas visions provide a hidden danger that you need to be aware of.

Disclaimer: Elise Ho, aka “Dr. Ho” is a Holistic Health & Life Coach. Dr. Ho is NOT a medical doctor, licensed therapist, lawyer, or a bevy of other things. Products or services that Dr. Ho believes in are the only ones that she recommends. Dr. Ho may receive compensation, product, or an affiliate commission on anything you see on this site. This is a personal Website solely reflecting Dr. Ho’s personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of any organization with which I may be affiliated.

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At this time of year, we are presented with many visions of a Picture Perfect Christmas.


These Perfect Christmas visions provide a hidden danger that you need to be aware of.

The key word here is “perfect.” When you’re looking at these holiday images there’s a real danger that you start to expect your own family Christmas to have the same look and feel.


[ctt template=”8″ link=”RpDv8″ via=”no” nofollow=”yes”]Coveting a Picture Perfect Christmas will only lead to disappointment and a feeling of inadequacy. @askdrho[/ctt]

While we may intellectually know not to expect the perfect holiday celebration we may still subconsciously want it.

We may even have something going on in our lives that bring sadness to this time of year.

This may be health, relationship or financial woes.

Perhaps, there is concern about the mental health of a loved family member or even concern about addiction.

The holiday season is, unfortunately, a time when stress can be at its height and negative behaviors very prevalent.

Society and media can put a great deal of pressure on us to put on a smile and be “merry and bright” during the holidays.

However, life isn’t always cooperative. It’s messy, complicated, and sometimes sad – even on Christmas.

If there is concern about drug or alcohol addiction seek help. If there is concern that someone may hurt themselves do not hesitate to call emergency services.


There are great assessment tools such as DNA testing to identify markers for addiction. What is also fascinating is that genetic testing may be used to tailor treatment plans.

There are great places to find help, counseling and additional resources. The Recovery Village at Palmer LakeAddiction ResourceDrugfree, and Alcoholics Anonymous are a few additional options.

If you are having a tough time during the holidays don’t allow yourself to be pressured to put yourself in a good mood.

With over 300 million pounds of ham and over 20 million turkeys consumed on Christmas we are clear on the main entree so let's explore some delicious vegetable side dishes.


Don’t expect to feel better all of sudden.


Get through the holidays the best you can.


Do what you need to do for the little ones, feel what you need to feel and get the help that is needed to get through this hard period in life.


Do not get caught up in the frenzy of gift giving and spending oodles of money unless you can afford it. Overspending only adds to stress.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on Christmas decorations and gifts.


Use both your time and your money wisely on what’s most important to you and your loved ones and you’ll have a wonderful Holiday Season.

Crank up the holiday’ tunes and then nestle up on the couch and watch your favorite Christmas Movie.

Get crafty if that’s your thing and come up with something cute but inexpensive. Cut back on fancy decorations and make some decorations yourself.

These Winter Art Projects are lots of fun.


Think about what you really want to do and what sounds like fun. What will help you create those wonderful memories that will last a lifetime? Make those things a priority and then work in the rest if and where it makes sense.

Check out these Orange County, California Holiday Activities. Some are free and all are great.

Avoid the trap of expecting everything to be perfect.

It isn’t about perfection, gourmet food, and color-coordinated ornaments.

[ctt template=”8″ link=”LEBRY” via=”no” nofollow=”yes”]The holiday season is about sharing memories and a special time of the year with our loved ones.[/ctt]

The holidays are about making new memories and being a family enjoying Christmas together.


Embrace coziness, happiness, and love. 

Merry Christmas!


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Naturally Yours,
Elise Ho
Ph.D., D.N. Psych.
Behavioral & Mental Health Specialist

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22 thoughts on “What If You Can’t Have A Picture Perfect Christmas?”

  1. One of my friends lost her husband earlier this year, and this will be her first Christmas without him. Holidays can certainly be tough emotionally.

  2. You are so right and I love your message. Although it’s a time for joy and love there are still people struggling with different sorts of pain. I wish everyone peace, love, and happiness.

  3. Oh so true. Social media puts so much pressure on us! I just wrote a similar post (kind of) about supporting others who are feeling the blues around the holidays. Not everyone should feel pressured to join and seem festive if they are not feeling it. (Or can’t afford it like you said. )

  4. I’m totally with you on this one! Consumerism and the whole gift giving concept is out of contor now. We don’t do gifts at christmas at all anymore.Price tags means nothing, like you said it’s the quality time with your loved ones that is the best bonding experience!

  5. Cait Weingartner

    Thank you for this important reminder. It is very easy to allow ourselves to buy into the hype and build up unrealistic expectations of “Christmas Perfection”, only to feel a sense of let down when our reality doesn’t measure up. We really do have to focus on what really matters, which is spending time and making memories with family and friends.

  6. How beautiful, we never spend oodles of money coz its just a waste of something hard earned. We rather always have a beautiful small gathering with people we love and spent time with them and exchange some home made gifts , be it even a pack of cookies:)

  7. This is such a great reminder. It’s important to stay present and enjoy quality time with those around you more than anything over the holidays. They can be a tough time for many. x

  8. The holidays are a hard time for so many people. Just today I learned of friends who are trying to cope with the loss of a loved one during this time of festivity and cheer. If we can each reach out to those who need a helping hand within our direct circle of friends as well as those within our larger community, together we can make the world a happier place.

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About The Author

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho is a Holistic Health & Life Coach with a special interest in emotional health, life alignment, and energy flow.

Elise will partner with you to align your mindset, your energy, your home and your career so that you can live your life's desire with freedom and love.

Elise offers 30 years of experience and multiple certifications and degrees including a Ph.D. in Natural Health and a doctoral degree in Naturopathic Psychology.