Christmas – It’s The Expectation

I was going to write a Christmas post, but then I realised I already wrote exactly the way I’m feeling about this time of year last year. So, here it is again 🙂

Christmas. It’s a wonderful time, especially for children. It’s a time of family, of food and feasting and fun, a time of giving, and of receiving. A time of waiting patiently for Christmas night, of trying to sleep until your eyes hurt from squeezing ing them shut and wondering what wonderful thing will be waiting for you under the tree come Christmas morning. For a child, that’s what Christmas is all about.

It’s the expectation.

Christmas is for children, isn’t it? It’s so they’ll know they’re loved. It’s so we can lavish our adoration and prosperity upon them, and make them feel cherished and cared for and special. Every child knows, or at least hopes, they will get at least one gift for Christmas…just because they are a child.

It’s the expectation.

To be honest, I struggle at Christmastime these days. I struggle because I am the parent now, and I’m the one who now has to do the spending and the sending, the organising, the lavishing and the caring. I’m the one who by now is meant to be both financially prosperous and spiritually generous, and make others feel as though they are loved and cherished and nurtured. But sometimes I just don’t feel capable of meeting their expectations. There’s not as much money as I wish there was. There’s not as much time, or as much energy any more. There are so many people besides my own children who I feel I need to give out to as well. I feel I will let some people down. Still, I know as a mother and grandmother, and as someone living in this prosperous, blessed society, I’m supposed to be able to do all this.

It’s the expectation.

This is the way we do things here. Of course you want to be part of the gift giving thing, because everyone likes to get presents and we all agreed to give so we’d all get something; that’s how it works. You can of course decide not to participate. But if you don’t enter into the gift giving, we will have to think that either A) You don’t like us B) you’re badly organized or C) you don’t have enough money. Now, we know you won’t want to admit to any of these, so you can see why it’s best to just do what we do. Pay later.

It’s the expectation.

Sometimes I feel like we’re just set up to fall, especially at times like Christmas. It’s the expectation. Christmas used to be about God’s gift to us, and then we took God out of Christmas, and we still expected it to somehow mean something. And then, rather than discard what might have become a meaningless habit, we made it into a celebration of wanton, wasteful consumption. But, we reason, we share it all around, and everyone has to do it, so somehow that that makes it all okay. Everyone gives, and everyone gets. And everyone eventually throws it all away.

It’s the expectation.

Maybe I am just badly organized. . Maybe I’m just lazy. I don’t know. But I do know I miss being a child at Christmas. I miss going to Carols by Candlelight and imagining a night two thousand years ago when a young woman was about to give birth to a special baby – to Jesus. I miss the simplicity of Christmas being about God giving His gift to the earth – His Son, wrapped in rags, lying in a slop trough in a cow shed. I miss not having to worry about whether there would be enough of everything at Christmastime, to fret because people might think less of me, or think perhaps I think less of them, simply because I can’t fulfill their expectations. I miss being a child at Christmas because a child never has to worry about whether there will be enough; they just know that after the waiting, in the morning, joy is coming.

It’s the expectation.

What is your expectation this Christmas? May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13.

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2 Replies

  • I think you’ve hit the nail on the head – there are just so many expectations attached to Christmas, no wonder people get stressed beforehand, and disappointed when it doesn’t live up to the ideal.

    Last year for the first time, we had Christmas at home – just our family of 4. For the first time, we didn’t spend hours in the car driving to see family. We didn’t have to make treats to take with us. We didn’t have to have presents organised. We had a Christmas at home, and it was wonderful, and I think a big part of that was that we had zero expectations. We ended up doing a glazed ham and roast vegetables, not because we had to, but because we WANTED to. What a difference!

    Guess what we’ll be doing at Christmas from now on …

    Plenty of time to catch up with relatives AFTER Christmas Day (our workplace closes down from Christmas to New Year) and there’s a lot less pressure and expectation attached to it that way.

    • Thank you Jo your message brought back memories, and yes Jesus is our greatest gift and in Him we have the freedom that brings completeness a priceless gift also.

      Many blessings Jo to you and those you Love , may the Beauty of Christmas past and the Joy of Christmas present, fill your heart with Love that overflows all year.

      Christ-mas Love Anne

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