I realized a few years ago that my mental image of “the perfect Christmas” has largely been built from TV, movies and books, rather than reality. I did not grow up with snowy Christmas mornings, snug in a house with fire in the fireplace. We didn’t go out sledding with new sleds, and certainly there were no horse-drawn sleighs to be had.
I built my “memories” from snippets of Christmas cards and holiday specials and movies through the years, molding my own idealized perfection. I suspect that I am not alone in that.
Which is not to say that I don’t still enjoy all those false images during the holiday season. It’s just good to remember that there can be other equally warm memories of a personal reality, and it is good to not lose complete sight of the truth.