Christmas & Expectations


We are in the final days till Christmas! Four to be exact. Does that make your palms a little sweaty? You’re in the home stretch now, at least. We’re almost there. Hopefully all your Christmas shopping is done!

November-December is usually my favorite time of the year. I love the cooler weather, the Christmas music, all the family events that start popping up all over town and I soak it all in like a sponge. I pack up my son and drag my husband along to everything and every single year we find real beauty in Christmas living in the desert. By now, I would be up to my eyeballs in Christmas plans, wrapping paper, ribbon, bows and gift tags and I wouldn’t have a single complaint. I would be watching my favorite Christmas movie for the 1000th time this year, while doing all of this and getting excited. Then my Charlie Brown clock would hit the hour and another Christmas carol would play from it and I would smile as I think about my mom and then vow to watch a Charlie Brown Christmas next because I need to show my son that movie.

This is all my usual Christmas time stuff. My countdowns are usually because I need to keep track of the never ending to-do list and the quickly dwindling amount of days to do them. This year, my mental countdown that started in the beginning of the month had nothing to do with making sure I could keep track of my to-do list. If I’m being honest, I’ve been tracking down the days because I’ve been wanting this whole holiday season to be over.

Am I officially the Grinch? I feel like it. Everything I just listed above, I haven’t been able to do this year. It is completely, 500% out of my control. It makes it hard to get into the holiday spirit when it suddenly looks like the opposite of what you do every year.

That’s the problem with expectations. It’s awful when the expectations crash and burn and you’re left with the ashes. The disappointment. The not being able to control whatever the outcome even though you so very wish you could. Maybe if I just….. and that doesn’t work either. I think the worst part of ruined expectations is the part where you know you should just walk away but you still try to come up with something that will be an okay version of the expectations. Like, if you can just get this and that, then it would be just as good as the whole expectation. It’s not though. You should have just walked away. Create a new picture. Walk away and get rid of the expectation.

I think that might be what God is trying to walk me through. I had bigger expectations earlier this year. Just a few months ago, to be exact and what I have surrounding me is nothing like what I had envisioned. There is nothing I could make of my ashes that would even come close to a “good enough” version of what I wanted. So I went the opposite direction and maybe tried to pretend that Christmas wasn’t a thing that was about to happen. Like, if I kept Christmas at arms length, I wouldn’t have to be disappointed again. I wouldn’t have to feel like I had no control. Maybe, it was even a way to feel like I had control again.

There is never a better time like the present, so I am going to embrace the next four days. While my limitations are many, is the love I am surrounded by is even more. While I’ve been looking around me, seeing how things aren’t how I thought they were going to be, other things have been happening and it has been so much better than I could have imagined. So I am going to trust in the vision of the person so sees it better than I do. He’s been doing it better than I have anyway.

Photo by Nathan Fertig on Unsplash

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