Say Goodbye to Holiday Expectations

thumb_IMG_2854_1024.jpgHolidays are the best and worst times of the year, right? At least for a lot of people they are because there are lots of expectations that come with the holidays – cooking, gifts, attendance, traditions, etc. The problem is that not everyone agrees on these things which can cause lots of drama in family get-togethers during the holidays.

This used to be the case with my family too. However, life got so much simpler when we decided to break expectations almost a decade ago. These days, things are less stressful. Sometimes, we get together and sometimes we don’t, at least not all of us. A couple years, my cousins and I just went out for dinner and hung out at our favorite bar and watched football. A couple years, the whole family got together, sometimes at a restaurant and sometimes at someone’s house.

This year, I’m hosting Thanksgiving for the first time. Everyone I tell that to has responded with sympathy, which confuses me but it’s because they have unrealistic expectations that they associate with s stress. They would apologize that I had to host or feel sorry for me that I was doing all of this cooking. See, I’m not stressed at all. I’ve enjoyed cooking and I don’t have to do it all. Everyone is bringing something.

The beauty of it is that there are no rules. You can bring whatever you want. Who cares if there are more desserts than appetizers? Not us! We don’t even know for sure how many people are showing up. If you can make it, great and if not, we’ll catch you at Christmas or next year! Everyone is invited – friends, family, extended family, babies, dogs, your neighbor, your coworkers or anyone you know of that doesn’t have anywhere to go or anyone to spend the holiday with.

So, this year I am grateful for the fact that my family

– has broken the stressful expectations and traditions of the holidays,

– has kept the parts we love (being together, great company and the best food around),

– has been open to a “no rules” kind of get-together,

– has opened its arms to anyone and everyone who wants to join us, and

– has allowed me to host them.

Expectations are a great thing but be very careful with them. If they are the wrong expectations, they will cause great anxiety! Do you have the right expectations for the holidays?

I wish you the happiest Thanksgiving! From my crazy but awesome family to yours!

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