Written by cycleguy on December 17th, 2014

Christmas is a season of expectation.

“Twas the night before Christmas…” is one of them.

“I’m so excited Johnny is coming home from college I can hardly stand it.”

“This is going to be something special. Ever since my son/brother/(whoever) moved across the country, I haven’t seen them. But they are coming back for Christmas.”

Not those kinds of expectations.

My recent post triggered some great comments from people, people whom I daresay understand the whole “holiday blues” far better than I do. I’ve asked my friend, Melanie, if I may use her comment as a “jumping off” point. Here is her comment:

This is such an important topic. I would love to hear a sermon on it, but never have. Our expectations are such a big part of the problem. I have kept hoping for an idyllic Christmas when that makes no sense. The second problem is memory. I remember holidays like most people do–they’re seared into my memory. I think we can fix this by recognizing that amidst any negative memories were some positives. We just ignored them. We can also stop believing that the best Christmases are behind us. Finally, we can be proactive in creating a meaningful Christmas despite the imperfections. We can invite someone new over as you suggest. We can travel. We can arrange to spend time with those who don’t tear us down. I have felt like I *have* to see certain people, but I don’t. The truth is, every single day is Christmas–God with us. That means it will be ok!

This is such spot on advice (you’d think she was a counselor). Oops she was. 🙂 Now her website is psychowith6. Take a moment to digest Melanie’s advice. So practical! Down-to-earth.

I’m not trying to run this into the ground. I just feel we need to know how to help ourselves and others. I hope Melanie’s “advice” can help you with reaching out to others or as the saying goes, “Physician, heal thyself.”

Did Melanie’s words help you see more clearly?


16 Comments so far ↓

  1. Daniel says:

    As you said, great advice and wisdom.

  2. I agree. Every day is Christmas for those that f us who follow Christ.

  3. Betty Draper says:

    Melanie advice is right on. The lady that cuts my hair was telling me that this is their first Christmas with an empty nest. So instead of lamenting about she and her husband booked a room at a nice place, got reservation for a brunch at a nice place and plan to do some sightseeing. I love the proactive way of handling things…it encourages others to do the same.

  4. Hi Bill, and nice to meet you Melanie. This line resonated with me, not just about Christmas but about any day or holiday. “Finally, we can be proactive in creating a meaningful Christmas despite the imperfections.” Yes, that is true and a great way to approach hard days or frustrating ones.

    Have a nice week,
    Jennifer Dougan

    • cycleguy says:

      I liked that line also Jennifer. I know you are going through a tough time with your dad’s illness. Praying for strength for you and your family.

    • Jennifer, so often I write something and don’t remember it. Then I read it and it’s just what I needed. I needed to read those words again today. Thanks for emphasizing them and you have my prayers.

  5. Jeff says:

    I agree that misplaced expectations are the root of disappointment. If a person meets their own expectations it is surprising. If others meet their expectations it is a miracle. The world is not interested in conforming to your expectations. So just chill and lower the expectations.

  6. Melanie’s advice is spot on! Thanks for these wise words with us, Bill.

  7. It makes sense that the difference between our expectations and our reality is what causes so many problems. Wise thoughts.

  8. Bill, thanks so much for sharing my comment and for the wise words. I have some expectations about an event I’m attending in a bit and I needed my own advice. 🙂 I wish you and your family a very merry Christmas.