Do you struggle with expectations at Christmas? Read how you can learn to let go of the expectations and savor the season.
Do you ever struggle with your expectations? This can be exceptionally hard during the holiday season because we all crave the holiday cozy scenes we see on cards and in movies. Reality is often far from that. Envision this scene with me:
Presents are wrapped and sitting perfectly with under the tree. Each gift was carefully thought out. Your expectations of the reaction of the loved one opening the gift are almost overflowing. You have the perfect breakfast planned out, complete with a beautiful table set up.
Christmas day will be perfect, you think to yourself.
And then it isn’t perfect.
The reactions to the gifts are not what you expected and your breakfast turns out less than what you hoped for. Overly tired kids cry over little things and nothing seems to be going right. Suddenly, all that you expected for Christmas is seeming to be crashing down and you settle into a mood of disappointment.
Our expectations can result in great disappointment if we are not careful.
Over time, I have had to learn to be careful with my expectations and not accepting the lie that they tell me. In my mind, I have events played out perfectly, but then life happens.
Things do not always go as expected, and when we learn to accept that we can move forward in peace. Letting go of the built-up expectations enables us to be open to the moments that were once hidden.
When we were setting up our Christmas tree, I had some high expectations. I anticipated Christmas music playing and the kids each delicately hanging ornaments. It would be a magical memory.
Clearly, I forgot that I have two little boys and a toddling girl. Instead of Christmas music, Frosty the Snowman was on, and a few ornaments were broken because of way to eager children.
At that moment, I had a choice.
I could get upset about things not going as planned or let go. Sometimes we just have to let go and laugh.
When I let go, I saw the excitement of my children. I saw that I had placed too high of expectations on the evening and had not taken into account their ages and what would be appropriate.
We all have expectations about various things.
It can be about having kids, Christmas, family dinners, marriage, etc. Without even intentionally doing so, we naturally form expectations surrounding an upcoming event. Then when things do not go as planned, we can sink into disappointment.
Whatever it is that you are anticipating, I encourage you to take inventory of your expectations.
Let go of the need for the perfectly laid out intentional moments and be open to the moments that may happen in the imperfection.
When we let go of our expectations, we are able to freely live and be open to what God is trying to show us. When we let go of our expectations, we are letting go of our striving to gain control.