Christmas behind the scenes

When I was in grade school, my Camp Fire group divided up into groups of four and we all made movies. My father was the photographer for these endeavors. (Yes, we still have a copy that is now digitized, and they are hilarious.) Anyway, one of the things I learned through this little experience was how tricky cameras can be. By focusing on certain things and by stopping and starting the camera, you could alter what the audience saw. It was a useful lesson.

I think more people could have used this lesson as a child, because I think that sometimes people forget that what one sees through the lens of a camera isn't what is really happening. This is particularly true when one is viewing another's life through social media. Of course we only show our good side, and that is mainly because we don't want to make ourselves look bad to others... it really doesn't have anything to do what anyone else is or isn't doing. It's kind of like junior high, except we're older and have more scope for feeling badly about ourselves.

So with this in mind, I wanted to share some photos on the heels of my purposefully edited post of yesterday about how we decorated Christmas cookies. Yes, the decorating was fun. Yes, people did a great job on some of the cookies. (I didn't show the less-than-beautiful decorating jobs, where some frosting was smeared around and then covered with some sort of sprinkel.) But you didn't see what was beyond the lens.

I am really only capable of doing one thing at a time. I do not multi-task, and I have never pretended to be able to. If I am focusing on one activity, you can be pretty darn sure that many other activities are not happening. For instance, there is the growing pile of empty boxes and garbage in my bedroom leftover from wrapping gifts. This will probably not go away until after Christmas.

There are children's rooms which I haven't really done anything about in weeks months.

There is laundry. Well, there is always laundry, but sometimes there is more laundry than usual. (And the flip side of having more laundry than usual, is having children complaining that they have no clean clothes to wear.)

There are bathrooms in serious need of attention.

There are piles of Christmas cards waiting to be put on the ribbon where we display them.

And these are just the things I thought about taking of picture of yesterday. The living room, where the bulk of Christmas is going to happen is in dire need of some attention. I think that will hopefully happen today, but I'm also doing quite a bit of baking, so we'll see if it actually does.

If I had just left you with pictures of children decorating cookies, and not shared what was going on around the edges you couldn't see, I could leave you with the impression that everything was orderly and I was on top of things. But they weren't. I guess because I perpetually edit what I show the world every day, I assume that everyone else is doing the same thing: That they share the best, and politely ignore the mess and mayhem.

Here is my public service announcement for the season. Everyone does this. Really. Since none of us is perfect, there is imperfection lurking somewhere. It's there whether or not someone is comfortable with sharing it. If we could just assume everyone has weaknesses and messes outside the frame, we could all begin to appreciate the things that we each do well. Life isn't a competition.


Carla said…
LOVE this! I was beginning to feel guilty that I don't do cut out cookies to decorate with my children. I do bake a lot, but nothing that labor intensive.

Sometimes we all need to be reminded that we are gifted differently and NO ONE does everything well.

Merry Christmas!

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