Expectations vs. Reality

Discussion in 'Christmas Magic' started by jollykelly, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. jollykelly

    jollykelly Active Member

    This time of year is when I start to get grand plans in my head about what the Christmas season is going to look like. It is easy to do.... after all Christmas is 5 months away which allows me the time to fantasize in my head. I want to keep myself grounded on expectations vs. reality. Though the reality may seem pretty bleak, it is my reality at the moment and I just love every minute of it. Here is my list...enjoy and share yours

    Expectation - Sitting on the couch, wearing comfy flannel PJ's from LL Bean and fuzzy socks, drinking creamy hot chocolate, watching a Christmas movie on TV with the family while prestine white snow falls outside.
    Reality - Folding laundry on the couch , wearing DH's old t-shirt, drinking coffee, watching football with DH and DD is on her phone in her bedroom while it rains outside and the dogs bring in muddy paws.

    Expectation - Having a beautiful family dinner, complete with a juicy turkey, homemade sweets, a formal placesetting, beautiful table scape with fresh greens, pine cones with a touch of glitter, votive candles, and DD saying grace and reading the Gospel from the book of Luke
    Reality - Having a family dinner where my mother has completely stressed me out and my MIL has already had one glass of wine too many, complete with an overcooked turkey, a pie from the grocery store, chinet, and a poinsettia in the middle of the table that DH keeps moving because it is in his way and my DD rolling her eyes when I beg her to say grace.

    Expectation - Re-enacting a beautiful live nativity scene with all of the children from Sunday School, all of them in hand crafted costumes and the parents singing in a choir in the background
    Reality - Re-enacting a beautiful live nativity scene with all of the children from Sunday School, except for those that got sick or had a school function, or forgot about it, most of them in ill fitted, hand me down costumes with a Cabbage Patch doll for baby Jesus that baby sister used permanent marker on for make up, and the parents looking at their watch or taking children to the bathroom or doing anything other than singing.

    Expectation - With all my shopping done, going to the mall with DH and DD to people watch, having a nice lunch together and listening to the roaming carolers.
    Reality - With all of my shopping mostly done, fighting traffic going to the mall with DH and DD to pick up one last thing, waiting forever for a Chik fil-a sandwich and listening to parents yell at their kids and each other.

    Expectation - Having a truly magical Christmas
    Reality - Having a truly magical Christmas....lumps and bumps and all!
  2. MrsSoup

    MrsSoup Well-Known Member

    My expectations are completely blown out of the water this year and I really don't know what to expect since we are on a tropical island where the temps very rarely go below the 70's. I am going to have to really reevaluate everything I know and be okay with Christmas in a different environment. I'm a bit nervous about how i'm going to feel about it.
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  3. luludou

    luludou Well-Known Member

    JK - that is hilarious.. but oh, so true! :)
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  4. Minta

    Minta Administrator Staff Member

    Yup Reality always has a way of interfering with our expectations LOL.

    I always expect to have the gifts wrapped and adorned with bows and ribbons at least a week before Christmas but every year around 21st I am doing a marathon of wrapping (minus the bows and ribbons) still forget a couple so I wind up wrapping them on the 23rd/24th like I don't already have enough to do on those days LOL.

    Expect to have snow in Dec before Christmas and maybe even have a white Christmas ... nope it's rain or warm and sunny ...
  5. sweetpumkinpye

    sweetpumkinpye Well-Known Member

    Kelly, that is the funniest thing I have read in a while.

    Ditto to everything you wrote except it is hot here and the kids and DH are grumpy and sweaty.
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  6. GrammaDeb

    GrammaDeb Well-Known Member

    My reality in past years involved handmade gifts, frantically finishing and wrapping those gifts into the wee hours of Christmas morning, plates and plates of homemade goodies delivered to friends and neighbors, and Christmas day spent with parents, sister & her husband and my immediate family. Snow was the norm, lots of Christmas music and movies, a full month of baking and wonderful Christmas smells.

    I have no idea what to expect this year at DD's house. I know the family gets up much earlier than I am accustomed to and DSIL does all the cooking and baking. I haven't begun making gifts, don't know if I will. I anticipate new traditions.
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  7. tanya

    tanya Well-Known Member

    You will be fine. Australia is technically an island- biggest in the world! and I live at the beach so kind of similar. Christmas will be different but it will be fun. We do it every year. A Hawaiian Christmas is kind of like a Sydney one except we dont have the Polynesian influence you will have there. Think salad, cool drinks, cold meats, relaxing, swimming or plan ahead and pack a big picnic! Think also shorts, beach etc....
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
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  8. tanya

    tanya Well-Known Member

    Well either I have lowered my expectations or have altered perceptions of reality cause last Christmas was pretty near as perfect as it can get!

    I managed to NOT get food poisoning like I did in 2014- was out for 4 days with that! just unlucky with a dodgy oyster!

    Luke did NOT have to make an emergency trip to the hospital when he slipped and smashed the back of his head like in 2015- mental note emergency is really quiet on Christmas Day at about 3 pm because everyone is with family/ friends eating lunch or recovering from eating lunch.

    I remembered to book the time for the annual Santa photo online- we like an incredibly popular place which books out weeks in advance- so we got the Santa photo without me having to plead, beg and flash the platinum credit card- platinum credit card gets you pretty much what ever you want but I don't like doing it!

    Luke got to use his Christmas gifts on Christmas morning rather than wait 3 days- for xbox games to load- everybody it seems got an xbox 1 the year Luke did and games have to load from the site before use- no such thing as plug and play anymore- cant remember what year that was but it was torture with a kid having a brand new console and not getting the games and operating stuff to load for 3 days.

    My Christmas Eve timeline actually ran to schedule- which meant we were on the beach by 2 pm laughing at those still out shopping, rushing etc....

    My house was actually clean AND well organised. Its usually clean thanks to the cleaner but sometimes the organising goes amiss.

    I remembered the batteries needed so did not have to race out to 7/11 in the early morning.

    For once Luke managed NOT to sit on, stand on, fall on or otherwise break an irreplaceable Christmas ornament. I think he broke another one though but nothing important.

    We managed to eat at a reasonable time, with good food, nice table, etc...

    I DID however forget the Bon Bons- I bought extra special ones- so it one less thing on the shopping list this year.
    I only bothered to get dressed far too late in the day- breakfast and gift opening works in PJ's but not much else. PJ's late in the day kind of ruins the look of the photos.
    AND Im still trying to get the perfect Christmas shot of Merlin and Kelso. Merlin likes to try to eat whatever Kelso's outfit is- while she is wearing it! Kelso lets him. One year I will manage to snap the perfect picture before Merlin destroys both his and hers.

    As I said maybe my perception of reality was altered but Im sticking to my story.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
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  9. teachermomof2

    teachermomof2 Santa's Elves

    Kelly....that was so funny!
    Jess...was just thinking that Tanya could give you some tips for a summer like Christmas. Is it possible to fly home for the holiday?

    I am learning to not have expectations....always ends in disappointment. I do know that I must keep traditions in place for the family. I have learned that is important to them.
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  10. halimer

    halimer Well-Known Member

    Kelly - that was marvelous!

    Hanukkah - hmm! Hopes -
    -the mantle looks beautiful!
    -Manage to figure out 8 gifts for DDIL and DH - DS is easy!
    -all gifts are bought and wrapped in time - Hanukkah comes earlier than Christmas this year!
    -Everyone we want to come to our Hanukkah party shows up!
    -the donut shop is not out of jelly donuts
    THEN -
    -the mantle looks beautiful!
    -Christmas goodies are baked!
    -gifts are wrapped
    -I have enough stocking stuffers now that I bought DS and DDIL bigger stockings
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  11. MinnieCo

    MinnieCo Well-Known Member

    I try not to have those expectations, but I do. I always do. This past year I've heard that it's the process sometimes that's all the fun and I just have to remember that. A Christmas movie on Hallmark reminded me of that this past week. The little girl said something on those lines and I just have to remember that all the little things LEADING UP to Christmas can bring me just as much joy, so I don't let the reality of Christmas let down get to me. I kinda find myself depressed about it the day or two after Christmas. Sad, but the honest truth!
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  12. MrsSoup

    MrsSoup Well-Known Member

    Lisa- We plan on flying home only once the entire time we're here most likely. It's just too expensive for tickets for all 5 of us.
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  13. sweetpumkinpye

    sweetpumkinpye Well-Known Member

    Michelle, I must remember what you have said.
    Christmas is just one day, f that does not go to plan then that is OK. I have had the weeks leading up to Christmas to imagine and enjoy my Christmas.
    I also have to realise that not everyone in my family feels the same way as I do about Christmas and I cannot force my expectations on to them.
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  14. Minta

    Minta Administrator Staff Member

    I think that is my biggest issue at Christmas and even during the time leading up to Christmas.
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  15. MinnieCo

    MinnieCo Well-Known Member

    My family plays along pretty good now, but I guess I watch to many dang Hallmark movies..lol Last year I did better with this, but this year I have no clue how the dynamics are going to play out with my daughter only being home for 5 days or so. Even in college I got about 10 days...5 will go by quick, but it gives me so much more incentive to get it all done in advance, so come the last few days I'm not worried about all the small crud and can just enjoy my time with her and whatever happens.
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  16. sweetpumkinpye

    sweetpumkinpye Well-Known Member

    Michelle that is a great attitude. If you only have 5 days together you want to make the most of those 5 days.
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  17. Holiday_Mom

    Holiday_Mom Well-Known Member

    Kelly, that was just too funny. Those expectations you listed were somewhat achievable when I was single. The reality is what life is like now is different but you know, I'll take it. My first born goes off to college in a few weeks so I will have to adjust to the new changes that will be happening in the years to come.

    My expectations of Christmas and my family's expectations are often different. I learned that we need to talk about it to help with some of the disappointments. I do ask for a top three list from each of the children of what makes Christmas seem like Christmas to them. There is no guarantee that we can do all of them but we make an effort to do one from each list.

    Michelle, I really like what you said about the process giving you the joy. I've always had a hard time with the post-Christmas blues right around January 2nd when the children go back to school and the decorations come down. The process is over then. It makes me wonder what other "process" oriented task gives me as much joy as Christmas planning? Hmmm... Vacation planning?
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  18. sweetpumkinpye

    sweetpumkinpye Well-Known Member

    Holiday_Mom. I suffer terribly with the post Christmas blues. People laugh at me when I tell them (so I don't tell them now), but to me it is a real thing.
    The week between Christmas and New Year is OK as we are still on holiday and in Christmas mode. After that it is awful we are all back to work and back to normal.
    I need to find ways of dealing with this this year.
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  19. luludou

    luludou Well-Known Member

    I like the idea of asking what makes it feel like Christmas to the children
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  20. GrammaDeb

    GrammaDeb Well-Known Member

    I have the same problem! Early January is when I begin tentatively planning gifts for the following Christmas. It gives lots of time for handmade gifts and/or buying a little here and there. I have given cupcake kits and cookie kits (or baskets) with holiday sprinkles and holiday cupcake papers or cookie cutters, even a holiday collection of kitchen towels. Starting early in the year allows me to get supplies to highlight each holiday thru the year. Recipients are surprised thinking that I can find Valentine's day or Easter goodies at Christmastime.
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