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Hope and expectations – a very thin ice.

I came across this photo of the first thin ice on the pond just as I wanted to write about hope and expectations.  I couldn’t illustrate this story any better!

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First thin ice on the pond. / Õhuke jää tiigil.

Hopefully it’s not too gloomy, is it?

Hopefully…. They say that hope is the last thing we’ll ever have. Giving a person hope can be the most beautiful gift. How much do we know about our future? Not much! We can only hope for good things!

With less than two weeks to Christmas I think most of us are hoping for something right now. Expecting something. It’s probably the time of the year when our hopes and expectations are the highest. 

Children hope for good presents. What do grown-ups hope for? I assume I cannot be too wrong when I say that we mostly wait for the nice fun and relaxing Christmas that we have seen in TV commercials.

For example my perfect Christmas has always been the one in the video for WHAM! ‘s “Last Christmas” song. I mean, the snow, people smiling, the long table…. Christmas dinner as if preparing itself, nothing goes wrong, life is in slow mode, hair is big and curly, the sweaters are huge…  Well, I got a little carried away here, but you know what I mean!

We have this expectation of how Christmas has to be and even how everyone is supposed to behave and when something starts to go wrong then we are more disappointed than we have ever been!

Not to mention when the Christmas has to be spent alone or sick or at work. It’s like this universal (although not the whole world is celebrating it anyway…) thing that you have to be a part of. And if you are not in, you are out.

Even though we might know in our heart that it’s OK if Christmas is not perfect, we still can’t handle it if it isn’t.

So what am I saying? Here is the place where I should present my secret remedy to this. Hmmm… I don’t have it.

To hope and expect less? Seems impossible! Hoping is human, expecting… well, maybe that’s the part where we could do something. Maybe we could expect less and enjoy more. Such a cliche, I know! But that’s the only way to go.

At least I can tell you that I have improved my own behavior bit by bit over the years. There have been even years when I have not had the proper Christmas dinner and somehow it was even more memorable! (I just wasn’t in the mood to cook and have a big fuss about it all!)

Just let your guard down and if there are things that you don’t enjoy doing…. well, maybe you shouldn’t do them. For example preparing a huge dinner. If you don’t feel like it, don’t do it! Nothing will happen! You can make Christmas beautiful with less effort (and less weight gained…).

And if there are things that you don’t enjoy doing but which actually aren’t a big deal (like reading a poem to get your gift – a tradition we have here in Estonia) then maybe you could just go with the flow and get over yourself… and just do it!

I have had a Christmas when we just stayed in the country – no TV, no snow, total darkness outside – and read stacks of old magazines!

I have spent Christmas in New York City without any dinner, without the tree and decorations, without presents. We stayed up until 4 a.m. just playing cards and talking.

I have had Christmases where I have worked even the holidays and although I had Christmas Eve off I couldn’t enjoy it as I was just too tired. Oh well!

Things happen, life is never perfect. And it’s only that moment when you understand this that life starts getting better.

So the only way to have a perfect Christmas is not to hope and expect it to be picture perfect. The only expectation you are allowed to have should be the one to yourself – expect yourself to accept the holidays no matter how they turn out. If you get upset at any time over the holidays, just remind yourself of this.

What can I say? I hope you all will have a wonderful Christmas! 😉

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