Don’t Let Great Expectations Mess with Your Christmas–relax, seriously!


rotting wedding cake

I’ll never forget reading Great Expectations in high school. What was Charles Dickens thinking anyway? Maybe some people liked it.

Not me.

I guess I had too many great expectations of my own, like a happy ending for one. But, hey, for some people there’s nothing more delightful than a controlling an old woman in a decaying wedding dress sitting at a table across from a with rotting wedding cake.

Have fun, whoever you are.

I was disappointed.

I guess I was hoping for an exciting surprise, a turn of good fortune that would dazzle me for days. Expectations. That’s me to a T. I suffer from living in imagined futures that never come to  be, anticipating perfect endings that end up any way but perfect.

I confess that I often decide that something should be a certain way and stick to it even if I’m devastated in the end. I’ve been this way since I was a kid. It’s been only the last few years that I’ve managed to even see this about myself.

Take Christmas, for example. I’ve always had great expectations for Christmas eve – glittering gifts from Tiffany’s, magical moments of bliss and non-stop feelings of good cheer.

I didn’t give the season a chance to be, didn’t allow myself to see the imperfections and the upsets as normal part of life.

I expected perfection. And that was a big mistake.

As long as imperfect people gather together, there will be no perfect Christmas memories.

  • Uncle Harold will get drunk and shame qll the pious folk.
  • Stuck-up Aunt Bethany will skip the family dinner to dine with  rich friends.
  • The oven will go out when the turkey’s half done.
  • Grandma announce her engagement to a guy half her age.

(And you thought her big fling was the time she served lasagna for Christmas dinner.)

Don’t get your self all worked up. Too many expectations can make the warmest gathering feel like a dismal room with rotting curtains and a decaying wedding cake on the table.

So why not just let Christmas happen this year? 

Over look the the nose hairs of that huggy- kissy relative. Lighten up on the impeccable manner- thing you got going on for the kids. Smile at strangers and grab yourself a candycane mocha. 

It’s Christmas, not a race to see who qualifies for the third level of heaven .

So, relax already. Kick those expectations clean outside and let them sit in the snow.

For once just enjoy every very imperfect and very precious moment of the season.   

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