Is there anything worse than expectations going down the drain?
- You were thinking it would take you 5 hours to get to Grandma’s house for dinner but there was an accident and now you might miss dinner all together.
- Dinner was made for 8 and now you have 15 to feed.
- The forecast advised a white Christmas, but all it did was rain.
- Everyone said Uncle Pete wouldn’t bring his new girlfriend no one likes and yet here she is.
- The holidays mean mashed potatoes and gravy, but there is a sweet potato casserole instead.
- All year you waited for a chance to “go home” for Christmas, but the boss says no time off.
- I want my house to look like it’s from a magazine.
- All the kids were to be home for Christmas until Johnny (why is it always Johnny?) wants to go skiing.
- Your family wants everyone together, but you can’t image being there because there is so much bad blood.
- You were hoping for that engagement ring instead there was a break up.
- ETC. ETC. ETC.
Expectations of situations going one way and then they veer and make a head on collision with something else.
During the HOLIDAYS, this is especially true.
We have the Norman Rockwell image planted firmly in our mind.
At worst, the dog jumps up to take a bit of the turkey as everyone chuckles. But have no fear, Mom to the rescue as she pulls out a backup turkey just in case.
The glass is certainly half full when we think about what holidays should be like. The reality can be quite different. Sometimes that different can send us into a tailspin of holiday sadness.
How do you deal with expectations colliding with reality?
Isn’t knowing half the battle?
We would like to know that mashed potatoes won’t be served, so we can bring our dish and share it with everyone. Or that we won’t have time off, so we can plan another time to go see the family.
We are pretty resilient when it come to it.
In most expectations gone amuck, we didn’t have the opportunity to know. That is why it’s crucial to prepare for the unexpected.
>>Now, you can’t prepare for every situation, but you can plan for the most likely situations.<<
- You are going to someone’s house that you have never been to before. Chances are the foods that are important to you won’t be served. You can either ask if you can bring a special dish you like to have or have a small dinner of the treats you like another time.
- Visit the family with bad blood and either try to restore the relationship or plan a really fun activity after it.
- Plan for an alternate driving route in case of road issues or allow extra driving time.
Here are 3 ways to plan for the unexpected:
- List out the most recent holiday issues
- What can we do to prepare for these particular issues?
- What am I going to do WHEN something, that we didn’t prepare for, expectantly happens?
The holiday season is a magical time, but there is a reason there are so many movies about holidays gone bad.
- It’s a Wonderful Life – I didn’t expect my Uncle to loose the money.
- ELF – I didn’t expect I was adopted by an Elf at the North Pole (sorry if we ruined this for you)
- Home Alone – I didn’t expect to be……home alone.
- Christmas Vacation – Where do we start?
- Deck the Halls – I didn’t expect that a new crazed neighbor would move in.
- Jingle All the Way – I didn’t expect they would be out of that toy.
- Christmas with the Kranks – I didn’t expect my daughter to come home and now we will be having Christmas after all.
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Remember to keep those expectations is check and prepare for the worst. You might just be surprised. And if it goes bad, maybe you have a screen play for a movie.
What do you do to keep your thoughts of the perfect holiday and the reality in line?