Rethinking Holiday Expectations

We decided to come back to Portland, Oregon to spend Christmas Holidays with our dear family. The trip was arduous, to say the least, especially since United Airlines changed our itinerary at the last minute without notifying us. This made for a lot of stress as we hustled to get to Mexico City in time to make a much earlier flight than anticipated. Flying during the holiday season can be harrowing. We knew that ahead of time, but it was the unexpected things like earlier departure time, change in itinerary, flying to Portland via SF instead of via Houston, late connecting flight and finally luggage not arriving with us, that threw us off the most. 

All this plus our family’s unanticipated changes of plans made us re-think the value of not being too tied to any one outcome, especially during holidays.  Probably more than any other time, the Christmas season seems to bring along with it an undue amount of stress, from worries over what he or she may want most as a gift to what are we going to prepare for the big holiday meal that will please everyone. Tensions abound, and possibilities for misunderstandings as well. I remember something Leo Buscaglia once said in his book Living, Loving and Laughing and I paraphrase: be careful about expectations. When one expects a certain outcome,he or she is laying the groundwork for disappointment, whereas if we don’t have any pre-conceived notions about what is going to happen, all will be a surprise and maybe a pleasant one!  

So, in closing, I just want to say what a delight that we have a dear family to visit, a home in two places, Oregon and Mexico, wonderful friends in both places, and plenty to eat! More than many in the world. This is a time to count our blessings, not expect more than we already have and to dream of Peace on Earth, as impossible as that sometimes seems. May all our friends and family have an “Unexpectedly” Merry Christmas!!! and—if all goes well, a Happy and Healthy New Year!! We’re expecting little and looking forward to many surprises!