Driving up to my grandparents' house many Christmases was like entering an alternate universe. They had a long private driveway leading up to large, beautiful home overlooking woodland and their very own creek and waterfall. All along the drive, my grandfather would put out surprises for my sister and I. He had an actual sleigh he would set out (life-sized) with presents on it, a lot of lights, and signs welcoming us by name. We might all head out to pick a tree, which he would cut down and bring in to dry out by the wood stove and then set up near the stone fireplace.... You probably get the idea that there is possibly an ideal Christmas in my head, one where all the "right things" magically happen, and everything is calm and beautiful. And then there's this: My almost-three year old Liam got to help decorate the tree for the first time this year, so he meticulously loaded up this branch with some of his selections. Some of them are not actually ornaments. Yes, one is upside down. But he put all of them on with joy and wonder. The more I parent the more fond I get of the saying "The perfect is the enemy of the good." I love to try to create beautiful cookies, craft awesome homemade ornaments with my children, and find amazing gifts. But whenever I'm looking at my to-do list in dismay (especially, I confess, about the homemade ornaments), I look at my first to-do item: 1. "What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family." - Mother Teresa So this is how my family and I have a really good time: We avoid the perfect Christmas. We just go for a good one. Which traditions would you never give up (ours is extra-special yummy food)? Which traditions can you do without?