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Surviving the Holiday’s - Part 3 - All the Expectations

Well, it’s coming. Some of you have already been celebrating for weeks, but the Christmas season is officially upon us. Many will find comfort and excitement in their anticipated yearly traditions and others secretly- or not so secretly- wish we could skip these high expectation-packed formalities. Maybe you already know where I fall on that continuum. If you’ve had a conversation with me longer than 3 minutes, then you do know. :)

I usually meet the upcoming holidays with trepidation and anxiety. And even as I write this, I can feel a lump swelling in my throat. I could write a lengthy memo on my many reasons for dreading the Christmas season, but the purpose of this article is not to spread negativity. In fact, year after year I fight to find ways to release this tension and focus on the things I enjoy about the season. I’ve spent countless hours venting to friends, writing pseudo letters to family, begging my husband for a Christmas vacation and visiting a therapist to help me sort through these feelings.

I have not been able to stop Christmas thus far, but this Facebook meme stopped me in my tracks the other day.

Whoa. I actually LOVE snow, but I couldn’t help but immediately replace the word “snow” with “Christmas”. It’s not a revolutionary idea, but it hit me at just the right place. I want joy and I know I can’t make the societal pressures of the Christmas season go away. But I can try to stop fighting it. I can examine my own expectations and I can release myself from the expectations I feel from others. (that last one right there...BOOM)

Regardless if you have been singing Christmas carols for weeks, or are like me and instantly removed those stations from your radio presets- may we all strive to find joy and acceptance in the things we can’t control. Because that is where peace is found. And we could all use a little more peace.

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