The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Patti Dobson
Faith columnist 

Imperfections make holidays memorable


December 3, 2017

The holidays can bring out the best — and worst — in people. By people, I mean me. And by worst, I mean one goofy move after another.

All in the name of perfection.

Perfection is a double-edged sword. It is elusive. It is rarely (if ever) achievable. It is subjective. It is exhausting.

I started the pre-turkey rush with a frenzy of baking. All to get THE perfect pie, bread, cheesecake … fill in the blank here.

I lost track of the bags of flour and sugar, cans of pumpkin, cartons of butter and cream that I went through in the baking frenzy. I also lost track of time.

After a solid day of baking back-to-back goodies, I put in the final pan of pie crust cookies in the oven. I had a pile of dough leftover from the pies I’d made. Growing up, my mother would squish the dough back together, roll it out, dust it with cinnamon, sugar and butter, roll it up and cut into little circles of perfection. Golden brown and delicious.

I did the same, and was very pleased with the effort because it’s a popular treat at Head Acres.

We headed out to choir rehearsal, early, because I’m practicing a duet. Two hours later, we headed home.

Remember the little circles of perfection?

Neither did I.

In panic, we drove from the middle of town out to Head Acres. I was convinced that if I hadn’t burned the kitchen down, the smoke alarm was shrieking, terrifying the border collies that we’d left lounging on the couch.

All appeared normal as we turned into the driveway. Running into the house, I was incredibly relieved to hear nothing more than the snores of happy border collies. No flames, which is miraculous given the butter and cream content of the dough. Kitchen intact, save for the smoky aroma of burnt-to-charcoal circles of perfection. The only casualty was the Wilton pan, which now will be repurposed into a plant holder.

All in the name of perfection.

The same guardian angels that kept me out of trouble growing up (mostly), were standing by that evening. Like many of the spiritual lessons I’ve been given, it arrived with the force of a wrecking ball. Slow down. Pay attention. Forget perfection. Enjoy the moment. Be grateful.

I’m hopeful this holiday season won’t be filled with perfection, but perfectly imperfect memories that will keep me warm through the cold winter.

Patti Dobson writes about faith for The Eastern New Mexico News. Contact her at:


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