It’s the holiday season and expectations are at the highest. Everyone wants a season full of fantastic memories. Memories and stories to share for years to come. Days full of laughter and nights that are cozy and warm. If you are like me, I want a tons of pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. We all have different expectations for what this time of year will be. Most people carry over the the thrill and excitement of childhood holidays. That magical time when everything seemed “just right”.
Then comes adulthood with in-laws, kids, ex’s, ex-in-laws, and family members that remind us of cousin Eddy on Christmas vacation – do not pretend that you do not know that family member because we all have that person in our life. However, these things do not stop us from dreaming and desiring that perfect holiday season. The nuances of life should not keep us from a joyful heart and a happy time.
A key to maintaining your joy and preventing post season disappointment is to manage your expectations. I can’t control the actions or lack of action of some else, but I can control my expectation of that person and the way I react in return.
My Tips to Manage Expectations and Maintain Your Joy!
- Do not allow another person’s attitude to become your attitude. A smile breeds a smile and a grump breeds a grump. Keep smiling.
- Treat others the way you want to be treated and DO NOT EXPECT the same in return. Treat the ones around you with respect and love. Don’t expect them to return the respect and love. Do it because it’s the right thing to do.
- Don’t expect cousin Eddy to be anyone but cousin Eddy. He’s not going to change because it’s Christmas day. We have to learn to accept others for who they are. We do not have to agree with their attitude or lifestyle, but we are not called to agree. We are called to love!
- When things do not go as planned try to adjust and roll with it. Life will throw you a curve ball. Look around and find something to be thankful for. Look for what God may be showing you in the unexpected.
- Accept what is given. You may have a loved one that is in a dark place this season. It may be an illness, an addiction, or depression. If so, do not expect something from someone that they do not have to give. Love them without expectations. Inside they are is still the person that you have always known, don’t forget that.
- Maintain your hope! Where there is hope, there is life and joy! Thank God in advance for the things you hope for and have faith that you will see them.
- Love! Love without conditions. Love regardless of others behaviors or actions. Love if the turkey burns and the tree falls. Love if it rains instead of snows. Love, love, and love.
Don’t let your expectations dictate your holidays. If we have unrealistic expectations, we can prevent ourselves from enjoying the experience all together. Enjoy every minute with friends and family, even if it’s not perfect, it is special. Sometimes, the best memories are the unexpected ones.
Have Hope Rather Than Expectations