Where did all my troubles travel?

I am a sucker for Christmas. The music. The lights. The snow. The magic. It’s all beautiful.

Each year that I come to this season, I have some unspoken expectations. I want some chances for fun Christmas shopping that involves caramel brûlée lattes from Starbucks. I want to have an exciting twinkle tour with our kids and lots of peaceful, relaxing moments with my family.

True Christmas magic.

As the snowflakes were falling the other night, I couldn’t contain my holiday joy any longer. We had to decorate.

About ten seconds into decorating sugar cookies I realized this was a complete disaster, and Amayah was not really old enough for this kind of activity. photo 1

About five seconds into setting up the tree, I realized that my child safe ornaments were not the ones that the kids were going after. They heard “these are the glass ones the kids can’t hang”, and went directly for those. Amayah then started smashing them together!photo 3

Needless to say it was a really wonderful night, because I’ve done the whole toddler at Christmas thing before, and was fairly prepared for the on the fly changes that need to happen.

Adjusting to a child’s needs is one thing, but what about an adults?

Christmas can bring out unrealistic expectations in all of us, and getting a bunch of people in one place with unspoken expectations can be like having a bunch of flammable containers close to a flame. Eventually things will blow up.

While listening to some Christmas favourites the other day I was struck by the line in “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” that says “from now on all our troubles will be miles away.”

“from now on all our troubles will be miles away.”

While it’s just a fun song, it really speaks to the unrealistic hopes that we place on the Christmas season.

All my troubles are not going to magically ride away on Santa’s sleigh.

Even if I had enough control over my own issues to not allow them to come up over the holidays, what about the other people in my life who I have no control over?

A friend once shared this verse to help get through the holidays with realistic expectations. I have found it to be an incredible help to keep me levelheaded.

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

Philippians 2:3-4

These verses hold it all. Ask those closest to you what they are hoping to experience this Christmas, and figure out a way that you can value them and serve with love.

Don’t just worry about what you want, but take an interest in what’s on their heart too.

The gem in that song is the line earlier that says “let your heart be light.”. We can choose to enjoy what comes our way, treasure the memory making of the holidays and not focus on what isn’t going according to plan.photo 4

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