Ironic how this is the season of peace, joy, hope and love and so many of us find ourselves stressed, sad, in despair and angry.

Stressed over money and purchasing the exact perfect gift for the weirdo family member we hardly care for or ever see!!

Sad over loved ones not here with us to celebrate the dysfunction of the holiday season.

In despair over life’s, often times, cruel reality.

Angry that little-granny-silver hair just STOLE OUR parking spot…I mean who the heck does she think she is…..just cuz she’s all senior citizeny doesn’t mean she gets DIBS on all the spots…does it???!!  Now I have to walk…RRRRRRR!

The irony of this season, whether you believe in God or not, is that we celebrate the birth of a man who renounced worldly possessions BY BUYING worldly posesssions….HA!!

This is not a post about NOT giving gifts etc.  I am an all-american gift-buying, tree-cutting, believer in Jesus Christmas celebrator….sigh!

I am here to offer a CHALLENGE…it is Monday, after all and perhaps a tip to shift your attitude from Mr. Grinch to Mr. Cratchit.

I believe that we set our expectations too high, which sets us up for bitterness and resentment, keeping us from joy, peace, love and hope.  We do this everyday in regard to almost every aspect of our lives.  Since it is Christmas, I will give you an example of how my MOST dreaded family activity has transformed itself to my one of my favorite family events by simply lowering my bar of expectation, in fact, in this instance I REMOVED the bar COMPLETELY….five kids people, five kids….there can be NO bar , if I want joy, peace, love and hope….jus’ sayin!!

Christmas Tree shopping…..sigh….oh and please don’t write me some holier than thou email about how UN-GREEN I am…I have checked into the whole singing and dancing elves that deliver your potted tree and then remove it and plant it afterward…and guess what…..this service is ONLY available on the WEST COAST….so ZIP IT!!

In any case, this yearly event quickly became a horrific nightmare that I dreaded each year.

My expectation list:

All of my children would share in my excitement and enthusiasm of venturing into the forest of piney trees.

All of my children AND MY HUSBAND would have IDENTICAL taste and ideas of what “the perfect tree” looked like….ha!

They would all share and welcome the christmas spirit and desire to assist in the cutting and securing of the tree.

They would decorate like well-behaved-polite-politically-correct debutants instead of like a bunch of uncouth-nasty-club-bearing-neanderthals….ugh!

Needless to say, I returned home angry and appalled by the shallow, selfish, disgruntled children I was raising, I mean for Pete’s Sake…..did they NOT UNDERSTAND how very FORTUNATE they were to even have the means to AFFORD a dang Christmas Tree??!!  HOW DARE THEY??!!

Around the time I turned 35 and added yet ONE more BUNDLE OF UNENDING JOY (not at all said in dripping sarcasm) to the clan, I transformed my attitude and expectations…..I think 35 is the age where most of us begin to mellow out, maybe not…if you are beyond the age of 35 and are still the same ball of stress you have always been…might I suggest the book Zen Heart….really, it’s time to chill…life really is very short, why not enjoy yours?!

So….how did me changing my outlook CHANGE the whole event….if you are wondering if my shift miraculously altered the very nature of my children (nature of all children)…

NOPE! NO DICE!  BIG FAT NADA!!

There is usually still a spat between some of them.

One is ALWAYS ticked about the tree that has been selected…usuually OLIVIA…sorry to sell you out like that Liv, but perhaps your embarrassment will lead to a TRANSFORMATION in YOUR ATTITUDE.jus’ sayin…LUV YA!!

And for PETE’s SAKE it is still difficult to get a dang picture by the tree with everyone looking (they were all….the sun’s too bright…blah, blah, blah), BUT…..and here comes the transformation….

I DON’T CARE!!

I know who my children are.

I know the kind, caring adults they will EVENTUALLY transform into…..fingers crossed..hehe.

There are MORE moments of my family playing, laughing, partaking in a oh-so-friendly-not-seeking-revenge-for-the-year’s-wrongdoing snowball fight (that is if there is snow) than there are sulking and arguing.  It all depends on where your focus is…truly.  If I am seeking out, standing in alert, ready for battle….then you can be damn sure you will discover one!

This principle is the same for merriment of the season….if you stand expectantly….

PEACEfully (dropping your expectations for the perfect day) in the….

HOPE to witness…..

JOY of your HEALTHY, VIBRANT family which you created together in

LOVE….you WILL experience it!

There is beauty in each moment, yes even the chaotic ones, we just need to acquisition them….truly.

And one more tip:  Let Go Of The Guilt….just let it go…it serves NO PURPOSE

We are human.  

Beautifully flawed.  

So what if you go all verbally ninja on your child here and there…..APOLOGIZE and move on…maybe save for therapy instead of college…KIDDING!!

Really….stop creating failure.

Tune into those precious-not-so-perfect moments….they are where perfection resides.

They are where hope, joy, love and peace reside.

Enjoy the season….the sentiment of the season….

Breathe.

And breathe again.

Create your peace.

Create your joy.

Create your hope.

Create your love.

Enjoy your day!


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