Forgetting Expectations

It's October, and the air is getting crisper. I make a mental checklist of this years Christmas plans and feel my heart whirling. I want to spend a day baking cookies and making candy with the kids. I want to make my own tree skirt and matching ornaments. I want to shop early and find just the perfect personalized gift for everyone. I want to go to New York City for a weekend and ice skate in Central Park. I want to take my kids to see a live nativity.  Oh, what a perfect Christmas it would be.

Soon after, reality hits.  The combination of a stressy December with my desire to cram multiple memory making opportunities into the season culminated in me having a big, teary, bawling fit. And on Christmas Eve of all days.

I missed my Grandma.  Family get-togethers are long gone.  Someone told my son what his "big" gift was, two days before Christmas.  Self-image issues.  Blah.  Stress.  Blah.  Stress.  Blah. Stress.

I needed to learn to leave the expectations of a perfectly magical {Christmas} behind.

The season will, undoubtedly, hold beautiful moments. But it will also hold cranky, less than cordial, shoppers who sass at you for asking the clerk where the tights are. It will hold kids hyped up about Christmas with a little naughty sprinkled here and there (said naughty might include taking a rubber band to the Christmas service). It might hold adults who don't mind telling your kids what you bought them. And it could even hold others who don't mind stirring up trouble for you.

Multiple times today, I've found myself praying "Lord, please change my attitude and my heart. Please help my mood and dry my tears. Refocus me on the real reason we celebrate Christmas."

When it comes down to it, Christmas is simple.  We are the ones that make it complicated.  Christmas is about a baby humbly born in a manger.  A baby that changed the world forever.  When He was born, so was Hope for the hopeless.  When we experience that Hope, we’ll have all the Christmas magic we need.