I recently wrote an advice column in Pick Me Up Magazine in response to a woman who was dreading Christmas with her in-laws. She wanted a perfect day and was frustrated that this wouldn’t be possible in the presence of her tricky mother and father-in-law. Sound familiar?
We all want to have a lovely, jolly, joy-filled Christmas day, and some of us will achieve that. Many of us won’t because Christmas Day simply isn’t always like the adverts. Some people are alone at Christmas. Some people are grieving. Some people are ill. Some people are exhausted. Some of us have very difficult relatives. Some of us are divorced. Some of us are struggling financially.
In order to keep your peace this Christmas it might be worth remembering that expectation is the key to disappointment. What I mean by this is that if we expect to have a lovely, jolly, joy-filled day with people who we know are tricky we will be disappointed and lose our peace. If we expect to have the best day of the year and we don’t, we will be disappointed and lose our peace. If, however, we accept that we might be in for a tricky day, we are likely to be grateful for the happy moments rather than bemoaning the fact that the whole day hasn’t been joyous.
Better to be realistic. Better to have no expectations and be grateful and happy with whatever the day brings. Better to give without expecting anything back. I believe the key to happiness is to give, freely and trust that Life will give back.
Oh, and remember – it’s just one day! It doesn’t need to be perfect. Perfection is a myth anyway.
Enjoy the good bits, Let the bad bits go, and keep your peace this Christmas.