For the record, I like the idea of Christmas – joy, peace, sugar plum fairies and all that. The reality of Christmas can be less than wonderful, however.
blah. bah humbug. blech.
I definitely don’t want to be a Grinch, but this year the Christmas season looks strikingly different for our family than what I expected. We had planned a semi-elaborate two day family event complete with a hotel stay and dinner out. The plans didn’t work out, however, because money is tighter than we expected, I am sick and two of my teens just need to sleep so they don’t become sick as well.
What started out as family fun became my husband taking two children on an outing today with the other half of the family staying home. Oh well.
Gift giving and Christmas dinner won’t look like I expected because some in our family will actually be working Christmas Day.
Maybe your holiday season isn’t turning out the way you expected either. So what are you doing about it?
Personally, I am choosing to focus on what is good in my life. I am choosing to be grateful for time to rest, for the time that I do have with my family and for the money to meet our basic needs.
If I simply look at this day as another day in my life and try to do the best I can to love those around me and enjoy what I have, then I can resist disappointment and depression.
I can focus on the positive and choose to enjoy the little things in life like snuggling up with a cup of hot cocoa to watch a movie with the kids. I choose to enjoy this day, this week and this season, no matter what happens or doesn’t happen.
How are you making this a beautiful day, week and season no matter what happens? Leave a comment.
If you’d like some ideas for overcoming the Ho Hum’s, read my post Dealing With Holiday Depression.
photo credit: Wong Mei Teng
Funny, my hubby and I were just talking about how we felt about this Christmas. I shared with him that I was sad. It didn’t meet my expectations at all!! One son came home from college with ALL his things because he is leaving to start an internship out of state. VERY messy room and his focus was on upcoming excitement not time with his family(though I have to say he did try). Another son was home with his VERY BIG dog(sweet but BIG) and his girlfriend broke up with him….on Christmas Day!! Needless to say he was a bit grumpy and distracted. One more son,who is newly married had to spend Christmas with the in-laws…. Not the Christmas I wanted. What I did decide is that next year we are going to simplify. Less money spent, less running around and I am going to just appreciate what and who I have home. I LOVE the idea of just treating it as another day with a few extra specials. Thanks for your insight!!
Sorry things didn’t turn out the way you expected, but good for you for choosing your response and not letting the circumstances get you down Sue. Happy New Year!
Thanks for making it okay to be ho-hum. One college child is coming home, the other is working (out of state) and my husband is in the middle of a 9 month Navy deployment. My 13 yr old son is so excited that I even managed to get the tree up and decorated. That took two weeks, beginning to end and still only has lights and sparse balls. It’ll pass, as long as I leave the lights on 🙂
I find it really hard to get in the spirit without shopping. Health has reduced doing shopping online and the boys are all more interested in cash for going out, seeing movies and surviving college. My husband and I aren’t even exchanging gifts this year. It’s the situation that stinks, not the family I love and adore. This is just a different kind of season of life for all of us this year.
And a different season is okay, right? 🙂
My family has always celebrated Christmas Eve in a more grandiose way than Christmas.
Normally restaurants have amazing Christmas Eve Prix Fixes, then we do Christmas Eve service and come back home to Christmas movies/ game night and cocoa/s’mores/baked goods. At midnight, we open presents and people start going to bed.
Christmas day everyone does their own thing (extended families and what not), but before all that, as an additional present as a family, we all go to a matinee to watch a family film- last year it was Les Mis, this year we can’t wait to see Saving Mr. Banks.
Christmas Eve can be just as fun and memorable- at the end of the day it’s spending it with family that counts.
Love those ideas Elle! It is so true, spending time with family is what matters.
karen b says
Hi Kimberlee would it be possible for you & your family to actually celebrate your little family Christmas on a different day than Christmas day? We havn’t always had our little Christmas on the 25th if our extended families has wanted to be together that day. Every since we have been married we have always had a special time for us & sometimes not even close to the actual day. Just a thought so all could enjoy each other more:)
Yes, Karen. We will be together Christmas Eve, it just wasn’t what I had originally envisioned. 🙂
After a very ho hum year with husband being retrenched.
We are celebrating xmas on xmas eve with a special homemade dinner and we exchange presents then.
Like your family some of us are working xmas day.
Our family appreciates the income earned on any day
Merry xmas and thanks for an honost view on life
Yes, Annette! I am very thankful that they have jobs!
We had a Christmas that wasn’t meeting up with our warm fuzzy expectations last year. Our oldest son had to work on Christmas Eve, and while he was there, it snowed. We live in the Black Hills, up a big hill, and his truck isn’t 4wd, so he had trouble and got stuck on the hill on his way home. My husband went down in his truck to help him, but ended up sliding into him. In addition, everyone who stopped to help slid into him as well. So both of our trucks were banged up that Christmas Eve. Finally one man was able to pull/push our son out, and they got home cold, wet, and pretty mad about the whole thing. Instead of letting them lament about their trucks and hash out what was going to happen with insurance, I sat them down in front of the fireplace, got them each a bowl of chili, and told them how thankful I was that everyone was ok. We opened our gifts and had a nice evening, blessed to be together and happy to leave the wreckage details for next week.
Oh no! That didn’t start out well, but it sounds like you ended up having a good Christmas Eve in spite of it all. Thanks for sharing your story Kathy.
God knows when I need encouragement. This season has been frustrating and I am getting pulled down in the bah humbug spirit. We were supposed to be in our new house getting ready for family to join and for reasons out of our control our house cannot close and it looks like family cannot join us. Each day I must choose to be joyful and today you were the way that God chose to remind me. Thank you!
Oh Lauren, that stinks, but good for you for choosing to be joyful!
This is striking a chord with me today. Lots of sadness with the three recent losses since Thanksgiving (these are people who have been important to us in the past, that we have grown away from over the years, but were still living fondly in our memories – my ex-stepmother, my Godmother’s father, and my husband’s great auntie). And today while I am feeling tired and emotionally vulnerable, we found out that my husband’s company (which just merged) will be in FL, not our state. He will be unemployed. We knew it was a distinct possibility, but until it really happens, it is sort of a vague happening. Not any more! Now we scramble to get physicals and prescriptions and dental appointments while we are have insurance. And we look at what we can slash from the budget (not really much). But I am chosing to be happy that the Christmas shopping is done, and I have $200 in Target cards that I can use to stretch the grocery and household spending. I am tempted to ask my parents for cash instead of bookcases that they are buying us for Christmas. And I just have a sort of “ugh” feeling in my stomach. My kids are great and have already adopted the “one thing you want, one thing you need, one thing to read” philosophy. Anyhow, this turned into one big brain dump for me. Thank you for sharing that it is OK to be realistic about the holidays and they might fail to be “movie-worthy” events. I am still blessed abundantly. And it is still OK that I overspent by $15 for the adopt-a-family my daughter’s homeroom class is sponsoring. It is about keeping CHRIST in CHRISTMAS!
I am so sorry that you are experiencing so many difficulties at once Laura, but I love your attitude and I am so glad that you have some resources (and that your shopping is done!).
I’m choosing to focus on the reason for the season. And I’m trying to forgive myself for the stupid mistakes that have caused the problem in the first place. I’m going to enjoy the moment, the present, not the “presents.”
Good for you Melinda! I truly believe that mistakes are one of the best ways to learn, so congratulate yourself. 🙂