Opinion: Holiday expectations
Low expectations, my friends. That’s what we all need to have heading into the Christmas festivities if we are to survive the next few weeks. Don’t plan the perfect dinner, don’t anticipate a healthy household, and don’t count on content children. You can hope for the best, sure, but only if you expect the worst will you guarantee yourself a satisfactory holiday season.
Thanksgiving provided a good test-site for my new underachieving mantra. Because the Wilson family six-pack would be staying with my parents, I knew I wouldn’t be sleeping much and that downtime would be at a premium. I also understood that the 2015 turkey feast would comprise of an unusual hodge-podge of relatives, including an 86-year old ex-dancer on oxygen, my sister’s new boyfriend, and two sets of uncles and aunts whom I only see once a year. And, just to make things a little more interesting, none of my other three sisters would be there with their spouses to provide conversation buffering and/or assistance.
Needless to say, my expectations of an ideal Thanksgiving were extremely low. So when my youngest’s cold turned into a marathon fever and cough fest, it was honestly no big deal. When my dad and sister cheated on our pledge to wait and see Mockingjay together, I rolled with it. And when Aunt Doris the Dancer regaled us with tales of teaching ballroom lessons after working all day at the American Tobacco Company (where cigarettes were free!), I was extraordinarily entertained. Overall, a pretty nice Thanksgiving.
With Christmas and New Year’s approaching, I am now prepping myself for more illness, disappointed teenagers, dog intestinal issues and at least one person over-imbibing at some party. I’m also planning on rain, a power outage, a minimum of two tree disasters and an impressive argument with my husband Doo. Maybe I’ll get lucky this year and none of these potential holiday derailments will come to fruition. But if they do, they won’t be ruining my holidays. Why? Because I’m expecting the worst, and therefore can only be pleasantly surprised. I suggest you do the same. Peace out.