What are your expectations for Christmas?
My children have huge expectations for Christmas. They have certain things that they want like a go-cart and a $500 drone. We have set the most clear expectation that Santa will not be bringing these two items for Christmas. Santa has limitations, too. He also knows that our neighborhood is not safe for motorized vehicles driven by children. When we know our children’s real expectations, we are better able to guide their thinking towards realistic expectations like a race car set and less expensive gifts…fun but affordable.
Life is better when we have clear and obtainable expectations set for our children and for ourselves.
Fulfilled expectations can fill us with delight. Unreal expectations can rob us of joy.
Part of discovering joy this Christmas is setting clear expectations for yourself and for others.
Take a moment to identify and write expectations:
- Of yourself…cards, parties, gifts, giving, decorating, cleaning, hosting family, church services, etc.
- Others have of you.
- You have for others.
Could it be that all the things you just listed are additional expectations around Christmas? It is an unrealistic expectation of anyone to add this much stuff to their life over one month.
From your list circle the expectations that are priority and are solely your responsibility. If these are not clearly defined, take the time to get them defined. If you have some that are unreal, acknowledge it. Can you mark some expectations off your list?
This second day of December set your own expectations and clearly define those expectation you have of others. Take care of this now. If you do, you will not be struggling with unrealistic expectations of your time during the hustle of the Christmas season.
The “Gifts of Joy Challenge” of today is to extend grace to someone else in the area of expectations over Christmas. Simply stated, extend grace to yourself and others and recapture the joy of Christmas.