Updated: Dec 2, 2022
My parents moved into a new house a few years ago. And the tradition around Christmas time is to put the stockings on the mantle so they are above the fireplace. One of the first years they were there, my parents were still adjusting to things. This particular year, as is tradition, my dad lit the fireplace on Christmas morning and we all sat down with mom's homemade cinnamon rolls and began digging into the stockings.
Normally, the stockings are filled with candy and as dad began to pull things out of his stocking, he noticed that his favorite chocolates were very soft, and we couldn't figure out why. The rest of us notice our chocolates were similarly soft. That’s when we realized the mantle in this house was much closer to the fire than at our old house, so all the candy that my mom had put in the stockings had just been cooking over the fire all morning and created this big gooey mess!
So often, we stress ourselves out trying to make everything perfect for the holidays. But sometimes, the best memories are made when things go "wrong." I don't remember many Christmas presents I've received. I don't remember the food we shared. I don't remember how perfectly decorated the house was that one year we pulled out all the stops. I do remember the time I forgot about the stuffing in the oven until after Thanksgiving was over. I remember when my mom's hand-knitted scarves for my grandparents ended up being over twelve feet long. And we still talk and laugh about the time mom melted all the Christmas chocolate.
Take the pressure off yourself. If things go wrong, it's ok. In fact, those will be the stories you tell for years to come.