honor of the upcoming holiday season, I am re-running a post from last
year's Thanksgiving event with my family. Perhaps it will encourage you
to lighten up on yourself when celebrations don't go as planned!
Do you secretly try to re-enact a Better Homes & Gardens
Christmas? You know, one with all the beautiful decorations, delicious
food, elegant parties, and smiling families gathered around a shimmering
It's easy to succumb to the pressure of making the holidays perfect, when often they're anything but.
here is the Dutch pastry, Banket (bahn-ket). It consists of a delicious
buttery crust wrapped around an almond-paste filling. I salivate just
thinking about it. Next to my husband, it's my favorite thing about the
I finally learned how to make Banket. It is
labor-intensive--two days of work, resulting in a kitchen dusted in
flour and a sink full of baking dishes. Worth all the effort.
family loves it, so I make it every year to take to our Thanksgiving
celebration. This year I baked early and gently wrapped nine pastry
rolls in aluminum foil and put them in the freezer with ominous "keep
out" signs on them.
Travel day came. I placed the
Banket rolls in a cushioned carrying bag and admonished my husband to
carefully place it on top of the suitcases. We handled them like newborn
Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving was the
big reveal. Children and grandchildren gathered around the table as I
proudly pulled out three of the rolls. The family oohed and ahhed, much
to my prideful delight. I cut pieces for everyone and glowed, watching
them enjoy this time-honored treat from their Dutch ancestry.
I jumped up from my chair and shouted, "I just sat on the Banket!" I
had placed the carrying case on my chair and inadvertently sat on them.
Had been sitting on them for about five minutes!
the hoots and hollers and laughter. The kids went crazy and the
grandkids thought it was the funniest thing they'd ever seen from
Grandma. One videotaped the whole disaster of me alternately crying and
The Banket? Flat as a pancake. So pitifully
thin. All that hard work to make them light and fluffy. All that effort
to transport them from Arizona to California. All wasted.
So much for a perfect Better Homes & Gardens
Christmas. I'm guessing all my readers have similar instances of
disastrous attempts at perfection. (I'd love to hear some of them in the
Perfection vs. Reality.
about the first Christmas. Mary and Joseph probably wanted to welcome
their baby, God's own Son, in a perfect setting surrounded by loving
family. It was not to be. Jesus was born in a lowly stable, far from
home and surrounded by animals. God's plan for perfection differed from
if--things go awry this holiday, try to see God's working and remember
to keep your priorities in line with the Messiah coming to save the
For me, my Banket fiasco was a reminder to tone down the pride and the desire for perfection.
the way, the kids said from now on, it will be called, "Butt-ket." Our
Dutch ancestors are rolling over in their graves. Sigh.