Wednesday, December 26, 2012

X is for eXpectations




Don’t get me wrong; I love Christmas.  I love almost everything about it (I could live without the bills that follow; really need to learn to start shopping in about March!).  But, somehow, after all the hustle and bustle, all the build up, all the anticipation, the big day itself is never exactly how I expect it to be.

I’m not sure exactly why that is, and it’s never any specific thing that I can put my finger on that doesn’t go as planned.  I think the real problem might be that there’s this secret, subliminal idea of some sort of Norman Rockwell/Martha Stewart perfection that is never achieved.  Of course, I have no idea why I would expect such a thing; my family is nothing like a Rockwell painting, and if there’s anyone farther from Martha Stewart than I am, I’d like to meet them.  But doesn’t everyone hope that their family holiday will be so picture perfect that it could be on next year’s Hallmark card? 

I guess in terms of expectations, there are worse things to aspire to than a perfect holiday, but it’s sad to have the tiny little letdown feeling when it’s all over with.  Not that I have anything to feel let down about, not really.  My Christmases are always filled with the most important thing in life:  family.  I am blessed to be able to spend the holiday with those closest to me, more blessed that it’s always been that way.   And maybe the melancholy has more to do with those that I miss.  I can never make it through a Christmas without crying at least once, missing my mom.  And this year, Brian had to experience missing his dad for the first time, though I know it won’t be the last time.  And I think how sad it must be for my grandma, missing not only her husband, but two of her kids.  I can’t even imagine that. 

But even with the melancholy, I always enjoy the day.  The laughter, the love, the sheer volume of food!  This year was no different (though I did forget to take a group photo, dang it), and I went to bed giving thanks for the blessings in my life, even though I was still thinking about some sort of subtle expectation that didn’t quite come to pass. 

If I’m lucky, next Christmas will be the same.

Linking up with ABC Wednesday.