Expectation

I can hardly believe that Christmas is over. So much buildup and excitement and preparation, and yet it comes and goes every single year. It lasts 24 hours, just as any other day, but leaves remnants of Cheetos and toffee on the counter for a week or so.

As a child, the expectation of Christmas instilled in me the idea that the day would be flawless every year. I wake to an enormous pile of presents under the tree, eat the traditional breakfast of egg casserole, coffee cake and grapefruit (pre-cut with a cherry on top, thank you very much), be further amazed at the content of my stocking, pick the cutest Christmas outfit to entertain my out-of-town family in and arrange my gifts in a corner of the room, so everyone can see my loot. This was the tradition. I was a child.

Here, then, is my confession: I think a part of me still anticipates the perfect day. It sounds so silly, and I’m a fraction embarrassed to admit it. Not that I still expect to jump up and down and run in circles at the sight of a gift as exciting as a Barbie Jeep or anything. But rather the sense that the day would feel like Christmas from the beginning to the end, and all would be fun and joyful and, frankly put, it would be the absolute BEST day of the entire year. This mentality doesn’t dominate my thinking, but I can definitely sense its presence in my thought processes.

So take those thought processes, and add into the mix that this was my last Christmas at “home” as I know it. I’ll be married next year, and Thomas will become my primary family. I love him, of course, but this thought weirded me out on Christmas Eve night. It unsettled me to think my traditions on South Canal Street won’t be the same.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m super excited to start our family of two come June. But I’m working on incorporating realism into my expectations. My traditions will shift, and I’m confident my mindset will, too, as I adjust to the changes. All it takes is time, right?  Any feedback from my married friends out there?

I hope your Christmas was wonderful, by the way. Filled with age-old traditions, or perhaps the start of new ones. I’m beginning to recognize the beauty of both.

Happy winter storm!

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At a beautiful winter wedding in Indianapolis this past Saturday

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Winter on the Circle. Beautiful!

 

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2 thoughts on “Expectation

  1. Mallory, I identify with your post today so much that it stings a little! I clearly remember being college-aged and thinking that because my memories of Christmas were happy, I could expect Christmas Day to be perfect, from start to finish. I spent a few “Blue Christmas” days looking for the perfection I’d either remembered or idealized, and it just wasn’t to be found. It took a couple years to realize that no day was perfect start to finish, Christmas Day or not. I began to look for moments, relish moments, find joy in moments, and remember moments. My discovery has made for happy Christmas days and fond–but not idealized–Christmas memories.

    Add CHANGE into the mix and there come all sorts of new lessons to learn, as you are discovering! Take yesterday– we arrived at your folks’ house and you had to head out a few minutes later. Sigh. I was hoping you would be there the whole time we were, but there are new dynamics now. Between our family and your family, the dynamics change almost yearly– with marriages and children, in-laws and out-laws! :) It’s not easy to adjust, and sometimes I want to make things go back to the way they were. But as you say, the new traditions can be as good as the old ones. They just take a little getting used to.

    Thanks for your good post. It really made me think!

  2. Pingback: Where’d My Realism Go? | Make of Me...

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