ExTREEindgly Grateful: How To Let Go of Holiday Expectations

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email

DSC_0823Grateful. Exceedingly so. That is how I want to feel this Christmas. Grateful that God came down. Grateful that He longs for me to know Him. Grateful for my family, our fledgling and long held traditions, our time together. But somehow Christmas trees get in the way…..

Here is my daughter’s Christmas tree. Notice there’s two of them. Molly, her American Girl doll, has her own tree as well. A Christmas tree for Molly was on Eliana’s Christmas list last year, along with specific requests for colored lights and jewel-toned ornaments.

DSC_0825

DSC_0821

This is my son Nathan’s Christmas tree. He has a box of lights and ornaments for his tree as well, but this is his idea of a fully decorated tree.

DSC_0869
As of last Saturday morning, this is our family Christmas tree. All lit up, but still undecorated. Not that I prefer it that way- I just haven’t had time to decorate it yet.Notice that the fourth member of our family doesn’t have a Christmas tree. Truth be told, my husband would gladly ditch this giant tree in our family room for a three foot live tree where the salesman installs the stand for him.Four people, all with completely different definitions of what the “perfect tree” looks like. Eliana opened her box of ornaments and carefully laid out each one, and then expertly placed them on her tree with the same precision Frank Lloyd Wright used on his stained glass windows. Nathan, on the other hand, ripped open his box of ornaments, cast aside the knotted lights, dug out his favorite ornament and called it done. I have dealt with my tree decorating with my stereotypical procrastination, but it WILL be done before we host our family Christmas gathering!These definitions of what “perfect trees” look like flow into our expectations of Christmas as a whole. We ALL have expectations of what a “perfect Christmas” should be like, and just like my family and our trees, these expectations vastly vary among us. We think everyone should have our same definition of perfect and when they don’t, we get frustrated.

Nathan isn’t taking Eliana’s ornaments off of her tree and she isn’t trying to add lights onto his. They both have their trees the way they want them and they’re happy. Neither of them are nagging me to get the tree decorated, because they know it will get done. They are happy to turn it on with only the glittering lights. (My husband is still claiming to miss the fresh scent of pine!).

DSC_1004In the end, “perfect” is learning to love and enjoy each other for who we are, with all of our varying definitions and expectations. When we can appreciate our uniqueness and allow others to be themselves rather than insisting they become just like us, THEN we can have a perfect Christmas.

Well almost perfect……there’s still no fresh pine scent!

And then we can be grateful. Exceedingly so. Because we’re focused on the real meaning of Christmas and not our own quirky expectations.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Most Recent

Upcoming Events

Aug 07
9:00 am - 11:00 am
Peoria, AZ
Aug 13
All day
St. Charles, MO
Aug 15
All day
St. Charles, MO

Get the Video Series

Ezekiel

Complete the form below to receive download links for each individual video from Erica’s Ezekiel Video Teaching Series.

Get the Video Series

Advent

Complete the form below to receive download links for each individual video from Erica’s Advent Video Teaching Series.

Get the Video Series

Moses

Complete the form below to receive download links for each individual video from Erica’s Moses Video Teaching Series.

Get the Video Series

An Unexplainable Life Video Downloads

Complete the form below to receive download links for each individual video from An Unexplainable Life Video Teaching Series.

Erica Wiggenhorn The Unexplainable Church Screenshot

The Unexplainable Church

Listening Guide Download

Complete the form below to download the companion Listening Guide for The Unexplainable Church Teaching DVDs.

An Unexplainable Life

Leader's Guide Ebook

Complete the form below to download the companion Leader’s Guide for An Unexplainable Life.

An Unexplainable Life

Deeper Discoveries Ebook

An optional companion guide that puts you in the middle of the early church and becoming an ‘eyewitness’ to everything happening in Acts.

Erica Wiggenhorn The Unexplainable Church Screenshot

The Unexplainable Church

Leader's Guide Download

Complete the form below to download the companion Leader’s Guide for The Unexplainable Church.

Erica Wiggenhorn The Unexplainable Church Screenshot

The Unexplainable Church

Deeper Discoveries Ebook

An optional companion guide that puts you in the middle of the early church and becoming an ‘eyewitness’ to everything happening in Acts.

Unexplainable Jesus

Come to the Table

Complete the form below to receive a download link for the Unexplainable Jesus companion PDF, Come to the Table.

Screenshot from Unexplainable Jesus Teaching Videos with Erica Wiggenhorn
Unexplainable Jesus Leaders Guide Mockup

Unexplainable Jesus

Download the Free Leader Guide & Listening Guide

This download provides Leader’s with a guide for leading others through the Unexplainable Jesus study as well as a listening guide to compliment the video teaching series.

Thank You!

Check your email inbox for next steps. In the meantime, be sure to like Erica’s Facebook page.