Post Christmas

After almost two weeks off, it’s time to get back to blogging.  I hadn’t realized it had been so long until Cathy Giessen, my mother-in-law and faithful reader, reminded me.

Had several great ideas for posts last week, but, alas, didn’t make notes.  So I thought I would reflect on Christmas.

I was thinking earlier this month about all the family trauma that happens in December.  A lot of families have (let’s call them) challenging times.

I believe that some of the stress of the holiday season come from stories we make up in our heads about “how everything is supposed to happen.” When the holiday doesn’t live up to the expectations we have made up in our heads, the snowball starts rolling, exaggerating anything that doesn’t go right and minimizing what does.

I cite, but don’t blame, the way we like stories where everything works out well in the end.  The Christmas season is especially marked with movies and television shows that model this for us, encouraging us to dream that this year, finally, everything will work out right – this Christmas will come to a close with a glorious “and they all lived happily ever after.”

Then, it doesn’t

How would it work to tell ourselves a different story of preparation for Christmas? What if  we replaced the expectation of everything going right with an expectation that we will make the best of everything that doesn’t go right?

You know as well as I do something will go wrong. Something won’t happen that you wish would, or something will happen that you wish wouldn’t. For many, these are recurring events – the same things happen (or don’t) every Christmas, yet the next year we gear up and wind ourselves up tight expecting, no, depending on, things to change this year.

Maybe you and I can change, instead of passively expecting other things to change.

I am already starting to get pumped about what might go wrong next year at Christmas time, and can’t wait to see what we can make of it!

2 thoughts on “Post Christmas

  1. We just need to remember that Mary & Joseph didn’t have a “perfect” evening the night Jesus was born! A stable with a manger! Good grief!

  2. Another great observation!! You are so insightful!! And — life doesn’t usually “get all nicely tied with a bow.” As Joseph Campbell (I’m almost certain it was him) said — life is complicated and might be viewed like a jigsaw puzzle. The pieces seem to be random as you move through the “pieces” of your life, but as you move closer to the end of your life, you start to see the pieces fitting together in a way you had never imagined. And, while I like my “escape movies” to end on a “they all lived happily everafter” note — I realize life doesn’t always. However, I applaud you for believing that there is always “lemonade” after life deals us a lemon — and it is usually the best ever!

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