I'm going to tell you a little story about a girl. Let's call her Polly. No you don't know her, shut up.
All Polly wanted to do was bake some vegan red velvet cupcakes for Christmas. She'd never made them before but for some reason assumed it would be easy, and that she would simply put on her little red apron, play some Michael Buble in the kitchen, and whisk together a few dairy-substitutes, whistling like Snow White the whole time. So she downloaded the first recipe she found (from a blog she'd never read) and skipped to Waitrose to buy soya cream cheese and cocoa powder. And for a while, everything was perfect. She put up her hair and indulged in the idealic domesticity, sighing with pleasure as she folded together the butter and powdered sugar in her new, shiny kitchen. And then something went a bit...wrong. And then everything went a bit wrong.
Poor Polly had a proper little freak out, and as she got more and more upset, more and more things started going wrong. She had invested so much into these fucking cupcakes and the experience she thought she would have making them, that something as small as curdled frosting was enough to push her over the edge. Which, for most of us, is what Christmas is really like.
We build things up so much in our minds, and never let thoughts of lost presents, shopping mayhem, cooking disasters, uncooperative in-laws or mountains of washing up factor into our big dreams. Before you know it the whole thing has gone tits up and you're fighting with your Mum over cream cheese. And in this way, our pursuit of happiness begins to sabotage our actual happiness. Unless we can laugh. Laughter is the thing that changes the ending to this story. If you can laugh, like Polly did *cough cough* and just start all over again (with a different recipe, and maybe some lower expectations) then things might not be Instagram-perfect, but they will definitely be more fun.