Why Expectations Can Ruin Christmas

Santa Claus in parade, in TorontoImage via Wikipedia

Toronto’s Santa Claus parade was on television last weekend. As part of the program, the reporters went to the sidelines and talked to some of the families taking in the festivities.

The first few interviews were sweet and innocent. They really highlighted what the Christmas season is all about.

The families were having fun and enjoying themselves. They commented on the floats, the marching bands, and the anticipation of seeing Santa. 

The reporters then talked to a young girl.

She stood proudly in front of the camera. She flashed a bright, beautiful smile and said, “I just hope Santa gets everything on my list right!”

That comment really resonated with me. It brought me back to the few times in my life where I had been expecting a specific present. I was happy to open up every present that was set in front of me. But I kept waiting for that one all-important present.

When that present didn’t come, it didn’t matter what amazing gifts were all around me. All I could focus on was that one special gift that I didn’t get. My expectations ruined what would have otherwise been a great Christmas. I’d be in a crummy mood for quite some time afterwards.

I think having our kids write wish-lists can actually be a harmful thing. It sets them up for disappointment. They will have expectations that simply cannot be met.

I think the best way to celebrate Christmas with young children is to have everything be a surprise. Let your kids know that this year you will not be writing lists.

You can pay attention to the likes and desires of your kids and buy them things that you know they will like. It is my experience that some kids don’t even know what they’ll like. They would often be happier with something they had not asked for than with the things they did.

So go out shopping without the worry of finding very specific items. Instead, buy things you know your kids will like. I guarantee you, they will not be disappointed. 

Merry Christmas!

What are your thoughts? I love to hear from you! 

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2 Comments on Why Expectations Can Ruin Christmas

  1. Hi Chase .. I do thinks kids demand too much – but I remember ..'wanting' / 'wishing' for a camera or a bicycle .. but I'd been saving for half of it .. so when it arrived it was wonderful! and I so appreciated it.

    It's the having to have everything everyone else has got .. all branded .. so unnecessary.

    Fortunately not everyone is bling oriented and spending way too much on their kids & there are some wonderful families full of love out there .. lets hope we can influence more!

    Not having kids .. I can buy prezzies I think will suit my pocket & my family or friends .. surprises are often better! Though having something you'd like is wonderful too!

    Cheers .. the parade etc look great fun .. Hilary

  2. Hi Hilary,

    I agree with you completely here. While it is nice getting something you want, a surprise can often be just as good.

    Happy shopping!

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