Christmas expectations

Christmas in the post-War United States

Do the expectations of Christmas make it less? Less wonderful, less joyous, less celestial?

It’s Christmas 2012 and it’s confusing because all the usual plans were changed because my Mom was hospitalized (she’s recovering, but still in the hospital) and my husband was sick (he’s also recovering and probably not contagious anymore) we’re at home on Wester Avenue for the first time in many, many years – actually ever. Somehow, for way too many years we ended up being the ones who always traveled to see in-laws at Christmas. And I did already do the 7-hours of driving to visit Mom and come back home where I could sleep normally, eat normally and recharge my equilibrium.

Actually, as far as visits go, the gathering in the ICU of part of our blended family was more fun than usual, but that wasn’t really Christmas. The lack of real expectation, nobody organizing us and lack of home ground maybe? No required time, no planned dinner (although I could have used some food on Saturday), no next stop needing to be driven to. Some minor gifting, but no concept that it was expected. Hmm.

I’d like to repent. Repent from the stylized holiday requirements. Repent from the I have to, you have to, expect, expect, expect. I’m not religious, I’m just wanting a pleasant, gracious, unexpectedly good holiday that is more about being present than getting them.

I sometimes think we expect too much of Christmas Day.  We try to crowd into it the long arrears of kindliness and humanity of the whole year.  As for me, I like to take my Christmas a little at a time, all through the year.  And thus I drift along into the holidays – let them overtake me unexpectedly – waking up some fine morning and suddenly saying to myself:  ‘Why, this is Christmas Day!’”  ~David Grayson

A Wish for Christmas


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