Use This Simple Mindset Shift To Change Your Christmas Expectations
Picking Out The Perfect Christmas Tree
One Christmas, when our two boys were still teens, they convinced their father to go into the woods to pick out the perfect Christmas tree. Since we live in the country on a farm, we have lots of places to look for Christmas trees.
So they piled into the pickup truck and drove to the back fields to begin their search for the best Christmas tree.
As they trekked through the woods, my oldest son Nathanael somehow got separated for a while from my youngest boy Jonathon and Melis. Still, Jonathon and Melis continued on and came across a brook that they needed to get across because just on the other side, they saw the perfect tree waiting for them.
They searched until they found a log to cross on and Jonothan attempted to cross first. However, when he was about halfway across, he started to wobble so he reached out for his father to help steady him.
But Melis thought he was playing around and didn’t help him. So Jonathon fell into the water and was immediately soaked and freezing cold.
Reality VS Christmas Expectations
Immediately, Melis took Jonathon back to the truck and cranked up the heat to help him warm up again. By this time, Nathanael had rejoined them so Melis and Nathanael went back to find the perfect tree they had spotted.
Together, they chopped it down, drug it back to the truck and hauled it home.
Without too much difficulty, Nathanael managed to get the tree standing in the living room. And when we finally sat back on the couch to admire it, I said to Nathanael, “What do you think?”
He replied, “Mom, that’s the WORST looking tree I have ever seen in my life!”
He jumped up and said, “We’re going to get another tree. That tree will never do for Christmas!”
Our Christmas Expectations
With the Christmas season in full swing, I’ve been thinking about the expectations we tend to have around Christmas:
- Find the perfect Christmas tree
- Have everyone home for Christmas
- Getting and receiving the perfect gift
- Cooking that perfect Christmas meal
- Decorating your home so it looks like a magazine spread…
We can have so many expectations around Christmas.
And while some of these are placed on us, many times these are expectations that we place on ourselves.
When Christmas Expectations Get Carried Away
So what exactly are expectations?
Expectations are a strong belief that something should happen or someone will or should do something.
These are not necessarily negative things in and of themselves… but our Christmas expectations can sometimes take us down an ugly path when we try to…
- Control our circumstances
- Manipulate people into creating the Christmas we feel entitled to
- Manufacture those Christmas feelings
A Simple Tip To Manage Your Christmas Expectations
I love what Tony Robbins says about expectations:
“Turn your expectations into appreciation and your whole life will change.”
So if we take the things we think we’re entitled to around Christmas and turn them into appreciations instead, we can change our Christmas into one where we appreciate the season for what it is and the people around us instead of trying to force it to be something it’s not.
A Simple Christmas Challenge
I want to challenge you this Christmas season:
Appreciate the things that go wrong and find the funny story in the random moments that happen, whether it’s the turkey that doesn’t cook all the way through and so you end up cooking it on the BBQ (which happened to us this past Thanksgiving) or whether it’s the raggedy tree that you picked up but had fun while getting it…
Also, turn those expectations into appreciation to develop gratitude for what is there.
Maybe you need to learn to appreciate the person who is in front of you during Christmas instead of focusing on who isn’t there. Or perhaps it’s the meal that you share in some way with someone.
I’m challenging you to appreciate what you do have to be able to turn that around into something good.
Because by reframing and refocusing our minds to think about what we do appreciate, it will truly change our Christmas and our life.
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