10 Ways To Keep Your
Expectations From Making You Crazy This Christmas
By Pamela Cole Harries
Christmas is a wonderful time! Everyone is
full of good cheer, the milk of human kindness and 20 pounds of
candy. All gifts are given with love, are exactly the right size,
right color, or exactly the right thing for exactly the price you
could afford. Right?
Well, if YOUR Christmas seems to fall short
every year, here are some ways to keep your sanity and enjoy the
unexpected joys that the season brings.
News Flash! You are not perfect! Nor is
your family! Give up the myth that they should be!
Donít make the season complicated!
Simplify! While elaborate decorations may appeal to your
decorating ego, putting them up takes time and energy that may
be best spent elsewhere this Christmas.
Everything doesnít have to be homemade.
Pies, cakes and cookies are perfectly acceptable if they are
bought at a bakery. And your children just might celebrate if
you decide not to make that knitted scarf this year!
Relax. Take time out from the hustle and
bustle to just sit with a cup of tea or cocoa and read. Or take
a long hot bath. If you take some time for yourself, you will be
better able to cope with the holiday chaos.
Let other people pitch in. You are not the
only one who can do Christmas! Ask someone to do tasks you
usually do, such as make the eggnog or cookies. And then LET
THEM DO IT Ė even if they donít do
it just the way you want! Donít constantly look over their
Donít make the season an ordeal for your
children by expecting perfect behavior. Children can easily be
overloaded with the food, sights, expectations and social
whirlwind of the season. Again, simplify for their sake ó and
If you can afford to hire a cleaning
service before company comes for Christmas, do it! Give it to
yourself as a Christmas present! You will enjoy the season more
because you wonít be worn out from scrubbing that tile with a
If you canít afford to pay cash for a
gift, wait until next year to buy it. Save for the gift in the
meantime. The short term thrill of buying the gift will be more
than overpowered by the struggle to pay it off months into the
Get out of the house and walk when you
begin to feel stress. It will help you calm down and keep off
those extra pounds. And it will give your family a break from
Donít do guilt Ė to yourself and
others. Donít use your expectations of the season as a weapon
against your friends and family. Enjoy what comes this season.
It may not be what you expected Ė it may be better!
And remember Ė love doesnít come wrapped
in paper, or tied with a bow. You canít get it for $19.95 if you
call now or for two easy payments of onlyÖ you name the price. But
love is but in the corners of a small childís smile, the twinkle
of a fatherís eye or the drape of an arm across your shoulder. If
you are expecting something else, you just might fail to recognize