We all know that the holidays are great, wacky, wonderful and stressful, all at the same time. We all know we have to just breathe and take it all one step at a time, maybe have a little extra rum in the eggnog. But one thing we may not realize is that a lot of our stress and what brings us down are our own expectations. Fortunately, most times, if we can pinpoint that expectation, a lot of the strength we give it will fade away or not even show up to begin with.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you want to get your mother or father “the perfect gift,” but, like most parents, they’re impossible to buy for. So you see the dilemma. Your expectation and the reality you state the next moment are at odds. I struggle with this one every year. My strategy this year was to remind myself that usually when I let go, the greatest gift idea presents itself and the whole process becomes easy…and it did! (Thank goodness!)
Now, If you happen to have a parent who expects “the perfect gift” to be given to them, then you have to also consider how much that really is about you and let that go as well…
Or maybe you’re scrambling around for your kids. Will your kids be “expecting” those gifts? And should they be? Will Christmas be ruined if you don’t deliver everything on their lists? Letting go means asking yourself if the stress is worth it. You’re going to have to answer this one for yourself.
While we’re at it, have you set any ridiculous expectations for those you love? Maybe you had a “list” for your family. How would you feel to find out that they were stressed and scrambling around for you?… It wouldn’t hurt to check in and let them know you’re happy with whatever they decide on and you are only hoping for a great family gathering.
Though everyone is saying it, let me be another to remind you (and myself) that the holidays should be a holiday – no expectations, just hope for good times.
I wish you all the best and lots of luck to all of us in letting go a little bit more this holiday season.