Christmas food on a table

It’s the season for making plans, having high expectations and hoping that everything will be wonderful. It’s also the season for getting stressed out when no one will play ball with your amazing plan and for setting yourself up for disappointment.

I’ve been told by a number of people recently that the best stories come from when things go wrong. The best weddings are the ones where everything goes wrong and everyone has a blast anyway. The best holidays are the ones where the hotel is full of quirks and you get lost everytime you go out.

Memories aren’t made when things go according to plan. The only time you’ll happily recall how every thing went to plan is to juxtapose against how everything usually doesn’t.

But I can’t help but think that planning is half the pleasure. Thinking about how you would like things to be. Imagining how wonderful the future will be.

So this festive season, and in fact anytime you make plans in the future, make them with the best intentions. And make then big and exciting. Make them as perfect as you can.

Then comes the more challenging part. You need to be ready to roll with the punches. To be as flexible as a yoga devotee. Treat your plans as a vague framework and just go with what’s going to meet your intended outcome. Presumably happiness for everyone involved. Remind yourself as your Christmas dinner fails to be the most sophisticated thing ever that you’ll laugh about this every Christmas to come. Think about how you’ll remember the time the Christmas tree collapsed as a time when you were so happy.

Be happy in the now. Make happy chaotic memories for the future. And, right now, get planning.