The Non-Traditional Christmas

I want to start by saying I love Christmas. I love Christmas movies and Christmas music. I love Christmas decorations and Christmas cookies. I love it all, but I will also say the holidays can be hard, especially if they don’t meet societal expectations. I was recently reminded that when we have expectations, we will always end up being disappointed. Yes, you read that right, and in fact, I am going to say it one more time. When we have expectations, we will be disappointed. I think that is even more true during the holidays.

As children, we expect specific gifts to be under the tree on Christmas morning and because we told Santa what we wanted, we expect to get exactly what we asked for. As adults, we expect our family members to get along while everyone sits around the Christmas tree opening all the perfect presents. The problem with expectations is that they are out of our control. We cannot control what gifts we receive. We cannot control how our family members behave. So by having these expectations to begin with, we are setting ourselves up to be disappointed.

I am not saying all this to be a debbie downer, but rather to take some of the pressure off of the holidays. I want to remind you that there is no such thing as a traditional Christmas. Christmas, or any holiday for that matter, is what we make it. So, maybe your Christmas did not meet the societal expectations of what Christmas should be, and I am here to tell you, that is ok. I am here to tell you that Christmas is one day. Yes, it is a very important day, the celebration of the birth of Jesus. But when it comes to spending time with friends and family, I am here to remind you that we can do that any day of the year, and it does not have to be on December 25th for it to mean something.

And in all honesty, Francisco and I rarely have a traditional Christmas. Last year we spent it apart. I went to Michigan to be with my family and he stayed in Orlando. This year we were traveling on Christmas Eve and he had to work on Christmas Day. I have spent many Christmases home alone, like I did this year, however we found ways to celebrate the holidays in other ways and sometimes on other days.

This year, we spent the week before Christmas in California. We did not have Christmas trees in our hotel rooms or Christmas presents under the tree, but we had time with each other and my family. And while our time together did not fall on the 25th, we still had a wonderful week leading up to Christmas.

So, I don’t want you to feel bad if your Christmas did not look like the dreamy Christmases seen all over social media. And rest assured mine was not dressed in lights, garland, and wrapping paper, but that did not make it any less mine. And it definitely did not make it any less wonderful.

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