There was a time when I grabbed all the magazines at the grocery store checkout with articles entitled "Five ways to avoid Christmas stress" or "How to make your Christmas a Time for Joy". You know the sort. Then they upped the ante and told me that elegance could be mine. They are probably still putting them out, but I don't bother to read them. I finally reached the conclusion that perfection was not for me.
No longer do I want to make an impression on guests. In fact, I am the guest in my children's homes. We have always had a lot of fun when we get together. No-one throws mashed potatoes or brings large dogs. We have had our share of small children, but we understand that. As for those in-law problems beloved of Carolyn Hax, they have never reared their heads.
I think we will have fun again this year. Though I do wish I had bought a bunch of candles and bits and pieces in various shades of copper.