"It's the most wonderful time of the year!". But is it, really? Sometimes I think we put too much pressure on ourselves to make it the best time of the year, that when there is some kind of change, especially a disappointment, it is amped up to the extreme. We want everything to be perfect, but the truth is, nothing is ever perfect, our expectations are literally impossible. Leading up to Christmas I had myself on an insane schedule. Every day I would spend hours crafting and cleaning and wrapping and labelling. I built into the schedule a little extra time each day so in case I didn't get everything done it didn't throw me completely off schedule, but I swear it was like what I imagine boot camp is like. It wasn't even fun anymore. It was ritualistic. Every Christmas Eve I spend at my best friend's house. We have a fancy dinner, open presents, and just sit around and visit. We never seem to run out of things to talk about. But this year was different. It was the first Christmas since her husband had passed away. His presence was grately missed and none of us felt all that jolly. It wasn't bad, and I'm so grateful I got to be there, it was just different. Then, the next morning (Christmas) my mom called me and told me we wouldn't be going up north to be with family because the roads were too bad. We ended up eating Chinese and watching part of a Christmas movie. We're going up to my sister's on the 28th instead. The thing is, it's going to be a lovely Christmas. I'm going to see all my family, spend time with my best friend, and pass out the 84 presents that I so painstakingly bought or made and wrapped and labeled. I will celebrate the day of Jesus' birth. But it will not be the way I envisioned it. I always have such a perfect plan for Christmas, and it's easy to get disappointed when it doesn't go exactly as planned. Flexibility is not my best life skill, but that's what it takes to get through the holidays. No matter how carefully you plan, at least something is not going to go your way. Instead of throwing in the towel, take some deep breaths and see what the other options are. Choose the one that is best for you. When things aren't going your way, learn to just tolerate it. At first it will be really uncomfortable, but the longer you sit with it, the more comfortable you will be. And just go into it knowing that everything is not going to be exactly as you plan, so you won't be as surprised when things change. But most importantly, be grateful for each amazing memory that you make. This Christmas has been nothing like the way we planned it, but it is still going to be some incredible time with family and friends, and I am so thankful. I hope you make some great memories, too. Happy Holidays!!