Letting Go of Christmas Expectations and the Stress

Merry Christmas to everyone, I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.

As you eat prime rib, turkey, and open gifts from your family and friends are you thinking this Christmas is not meeting expectations? Is it different, are your traditions changing? Our Christmas traditions are definitely changing and it’s not a bad thing.  It’s an adjustment.

Merry Christmas church candles

Due to outside family obligations, we have “our” Christmas on Christmas Eve-Eve on December 23rd and open presents at 12:01 am on Christmas Eve.

Long story, but it’s become a tradition. Normally I get the 23rd and or the 24th off, but this year I had to work and it really put my Christmas season out of whack.

We had the dinner, which was AMAZING, but then can prime rib roast NOT be amazing. My husband was wonderful in getting dinner prepared while I was at work and Christmas program practice.

I basically showed up and ate, which wonderful and odd at the same time.

It’s now Christmas Day, it is just the two of us, and the house is quiet. This gives me time to reflect on the year and where I’ve been and where I’m going.

This year I “let go” during the Holidays.

    • I didn’t get every Christmas cookie made.
    • I didn’t get cards mailed, ok that’s several years in a row.
    • I didn’t stress about all the presents under the tree being adorned with bows, ribbons and looking fancy.,,,in fact
    • ALL the presents were with the SAME wrapping paper, and not a bow to be seen (OMG!)
    • Not all the Christmas decorations were put up this year.
    • I shrugged off the fact my “extra” presents for people didn’t happen this year.
    • I didn’t cry when all the kids couldn’t be home during dinner. (traveling from out of state isn’t predictable)
    • I didn’t stress about the “yearly” family Christmas photo in front of the tree where everyone is dressed up for church service. (didn’t happen this year)
    • I didn’t freak out that everyone couldn’t make it to Christmas Eve service. (my daughter had to work late)
    • I didn’t go into a panic trying to find that present (ornament) that got “lost” this year. It will show up this week I’m sure.

What I did do this year.

  • I was thankful for the present, now and today.
  • I sat on the couch, watched the Christmas tree lights and listened to Christmas carols on Pandora.
  • I hugged my adult kids when I could, much to their dismay.
  • I snuggled on the couch with my husband watching Christmas movies.


Baby Jesus in the cradle at a Church Christmas program

    • I played the piano during the church Christmas Eve program and listened to the pure sound of the kids singing Away in the Manger.
    • I teared up singing Silent Night at the Candlelight portion of the service.
    • I am grateful to be alive and have all my grown kids healthy, happy and all together today. No matter where they are spending the day.

Holy Gifts: The True Meaning of Gold, Frankincense, and MyrrhHoly Gifts: The True Meaning of Gold, Frankincense, and MyrrhC Is for Christmas: The History, Personalities, and Meaning of Christ's BirthC Is for Christmas: The History, Personalities, and Meaning of Christ’s Birth



True meaning of Christmas

Does it feel different? Yes, and it feels odd. But,…Christmas is not about the commercialism, the wrappings, or the gifts.

It starts with Christ, a baby born a humble birth, in a time of turmoil, who was sent by God to save His people and world. The Peace of God, the everlasting forgiveness who washes away our sins, cleanse us and makes us new.

To think over two thousand years ago a simple baby, a child, a man, was able to change the world. All of this without social media, just word of mouth from one person to another.

Merry Christmas Everyone and Remember the Reason for the Season!

The First Christmas NightThe First Christmas NightThe Christmas Miracle of Jonathan ToomeyThe Christmas Miracle of Jonathan ToomeyThe Christmas Story: From The King James BibleThe Christmas Story: From The King James BibleAway in a Manger: The Christmas Story from a Nativity Scene Lamb's Point of ViewAway in a Manger: The Christmas Story from a Nativity Scene Lamb’s Point of View



2 thoughts on “Letting Go of Christmas Expectations and the Stress

  1. Sounds like your priorities are in good order. For many years now we rarely celebrate Christmas on Christmas and often someone can’t make it at all due to work requirements. I don’t mind, though, because I’m very proud of my sons and the jobs that they do, where public service comes first. We cherish the times we do have together and my grown sons get lots of hugs, too, whenever we get together. (The older they get, the less they mind!) Christmas is celebrated in my heart and I, too, tear up on “Silent Night.” And all this because of that little baby. God bless you and yours this Christmas and always!

    1. Thank you for the kind words Susan. I agree, Christmas is not just one day, it resides in your heart. My favorite part of the holiday is sitting at the piano on Christmas Eve listening to the congregation sing Joy to the World at the end of service. It warms my heart.

Comments are closed.