Thank them for their service

When I arrived at our venue to set up Thursday night for Girls Night Out, I was pleasantly surprised to find the room decked out with festive holiday decor.  A fully dressed Christmas tree reached up to the ceiling, and two life-size nutcracker soldiers stood guard at the front of the room.

We always bring our own design theme, but this was a welcome addition.  

As is tradition during our Holiday Ready GNO, we needed to screencast a little closed circuit tv presentation of our hair & makeup artist’s tips and tricks, so that everyone in the room could see the techniques they were using on models, up close and personal.  It’s also been a tradition that my camera skills, combined with a our not-so-professional equipment have sometimes made this part of the evening a comedy of errors.  So this year, I was determined to get it all set up and do an extra trial-run, just moments before we got started.

Who better to screencast than this guy? 

He was in the prime location, right next to the HDMI plug.  With his rosy cheeks and perfect pout, he was totally Holiday Ready.  In fact, he was perfect in every way.  We had our little moment, and voila!  It worked!  He made a beautiful model for my practice run and all went smashingly well.  (At least in the practice run!)

Meanwhile, I couldn’t help but snatch this quick photo.

Throughout the night, I kept noticing him standing there.  It was so strange.  His perfection seemed a little out of place in the middle of an evening full of rumpus laughter, built around authentic conversations about what’s going on behind the scenes with all of our varying levels of holiday preparedness. Much like I imagine the soldiers guarding the Royal family must feel at times, he was shocked, with those wide eyes and gasping mouth, but trying hard not to show it. He was guarding the space without cracking a smile.

And yet, somehow, it felt like he was giving us his blessing.  

When the time came for my TV filming shenanigans, I had to kneel down beside him to change out the cord, and as I stood up our gaze met again.  Yep, he was still there, staring straight ahead, as if to say, “You’ve got this.”  This morning, when I saw this picture on my phone, I laughed and thought to myself, “There’s that silly nutcracker again!”  That’s when I knew, you needed to meet him too.

He’s symbolic. 

He’s a reminder that the holiday decor, the lights and decorations, are all there to serve a purpose.  It’s about more than impressing our friends and family with our decorating prowess.  They set the stage for our festivities together.  It’s like their purpose is to guard the space, making it safe for all the joy, laughter and connection that the holidays are meant to bring.  So this season, when you see a toy soldier, or nutcracker, or even a scout elf in your holiday decor, recognize that they are there in service of you and your people.

You’re not a slave to perfecting them, in an effort to impress anyone.

They’re serving you.  

Welcome the ambiance they create for the ones you love, and let go of the notion of perfection.

Thank them for their service. 

to more love,


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