Thursday, December 23, 2010

Great Expectations

Here we go- Christmas Eve tomorrow! I get so anxious worrying about the gifts I am giving and the ones my kids will get. I know that all of my family members care and put thought into what they buy, but I still get so nervous that someone will be disappointed. Expectations are always so high! "I can't wait for Christmas!! I'm going to get so much stuff!" I hear this and dread it. I'm sure everything will end up OK, but I still feel like if it's not perfect, it's all for nothing. One thing that I am proud of is the decision I made long ago not to lie to my kids that Santa is real. They have known from the beginning that people who love them are the ones that give them gifts. I also told them that it is not their place to tell anyone from school or activities that still believes in Santa that he is not real. They are pretty cool about it, and I love that! I remember feeling DEVASTATED that
"Mykolaj" was my parents!! My friend broke it to me at some Plast event. She said, and I remember it like it was yesterday, "Did your mom bring your present?" and I was like, "Huh?" and she says, "You know that your mom is Mykolaj! He's not REAL!!"
and I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. I never wanted my kids to feel like that. Don't worry, I don't blame anyone for perpetuating the story. I guess it's fine for most, but it can be a real powderkeg. And I always worry that the expectations of perfect family togetherness are high as well. I can't say that during my marriage Christmas time was particularly special, or romantic or loving, like it tends to be portrayed on TV and seasonal movies and specials. That is probably the saddest part, that my expectations lowered themselves rather early so that I wouldn't end up curled in a ball crying my eyes out. On that note, I do genuinely wish you all a Merry Christmas, and I hope that your holiday lives up to your expectations!


  1. My wife and I have always been honest about the Santa thing, too. It's part of our attempt to not lie to our kids about anything important in the hopes that they might actually trust us somewhat in the future. Yeah, that might be a pipe dream. But it's worth a shot!

    It's weird how many people seem to think we're robbing them of the joy of Christmas or something, though. If only those people could experience my seven year old singing Rudolph the red nosed reindeer for an entire month in anticipation.

    I can relate to the anxiety about "family togetherness" expectations, too. These days I figure it may not be perfect, but at least we're together. Probably a rationalization on my part. But it works for me!

    Merry Christmas and nice blog.

  2. I didn't mind the whole lie about Santa, as much as I did the lie about the Gumdrop Tree.

    I should elaborate.

    My mom used to go out into the woods and bring home a big thorny branch. Most of the year, it was called a switch and it was used for corporal punishment, but during the holidays, it was placed in a pot of soil, and despite looking like kindling, it was watered and left overnight. In the morning we'd wake up and every thorn had "grown" a gumdrop. We'd pick and eat the gumdrops, and the next morning it would have a whole new crop.

    It hurt to find out years later that the obviously dead twig was indeed dead, and that we'd been the victims of an evil scam.

    I can't look at a big ol' sticker bush these days without getting a little misty.