My Christmas Dream

Holiday Hoosle Pictures, Images and PhotosI have a wonderful dream about how Christmas Day is going to happen.
Come along and enjoy.

I’ll wake early, before anyone else, and be amazed at the immensely satisfying night’s sleep from which I just emerged.
Feel the rest.

My feet won’t even become cold because. . .. . .I will have remembered to leave my slippers right by the bed for the first time this year. My stars, the cat (which I don’t actually have–remember–it’s a dream) actually spent the night in them, pre-warming them for just this magic moment.
Insert now, and wiggle the toes.

Out the window, a snow has been going all night and the much wished for “White Christmas” has arrived, right on cue.
Oh…I think I hear bells!

I manage to get the fire going, the coffee perking, the Christmas music playing and the breakfast holiday baked goods all perfectly placed on my beautiful table (laid out, of course, the night before), and all this is done before the first stirrings sound from upstairs.
Feel the efficiency. Martha Stewart will be calling me shortly for advice on her Christmas dinner plans.

My family arrives from their slumber, one at a time, each wrapping their loving arms around me and thanking me for all the hard work and sacrifice I do to make this day possible. (tears well up)
Each child plops themselves before the breakfast table, and waits with anticipation for their fellow family members.
Feel the familial affection.
The conversation is good natured, kind, full of encouragement and quiet excitement. Not one unkind word is spoken, or indeed…even thought.

When all have arrived, we move on to the tree and begin the process of sharing love in the form of packages.
Everyone is appreciative.
Everyone says the right things.
Everyone feels loved, warm and fuzzy.
The Middle East declares peace.
All nuclear arsenals are dismantled.
And the baby wildebeest never ever again breaks away from the herd.

Deep heaving sobs of joy….

Yes…this lovely mental meandering was brought to you by “Every Idiot Has a Dream”
And now…the Christmas Elf, Senor Get-a-Grip, will be waking you.

Wakey wakey.
Are you back now?
Good, because Get-a-Grip and I have some words of advice.

LET GO OF THE DREAM!!! …whatever it is.

This day is almost guaranteed to veer off of any plan you may have.

Release expectations.
Make no assumptions.
Be prepared to be ill-prepared.
And plan to roll with the day, even, yes, to laugh.

I heard a great quote a few years back.

Expectations are often just premeditated resentment.

I have to confess that expectations are my very worst enemy.  I have a set ideas of just how my child should behave.
Well of course, we all do. That’s not earth shattering.

BUT…there have been times when my harsh and angry response to my child has been out of embarrassment,
out of how they made me look to others.
In other words, there have been times when my pride was wounded, and I used it as a excuse to be more concerned with how things looked than with what my child actually needed to grow and develop.
I was more concerned with how I looked to you, instead of what my Sizzler needed from me.
And as a result, my reactions were often far over the line of what was needed.

Of course you’re going to need to give your Sizzler extra direction during these holiday events.

They are really going to struggle with all the change of schedule, different smells, massive amounts of input overload, tiredness, unusual foods, and challenging social situations. Without a doubt, you will need to guide them, even more than usual.

But make sure that guiding them is your primary motivation.
They probably will embarrass you sometime over the holidays.
But don’t worry what others think.
Don’t worry about your bruised parenting image.

Love this child.
Guide this child.

Because, ya know what???
40 years from now, what those people in that room thought of you won’t matter a smidgeon when compared with the relationship you will have with your grown children.

So make a commitment ahead of time to simply take the day as it comes.
—With all the noise
—With all the less than perfect responses
—With all the frenzy
—With all the possible misunderstood judgements….

Take it all in stride…
and love your child with abandon.

Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah Everyone.
Carol Barnier &
Your friends at

6 Responses to “My Christmas Dream”

  1. jenny Says:

    Wonderfully said! Thanks for the timely reminder. Merry Christmas!

  2. SG Says:

    Wonderful post! So touching and real and true! Thank you!

  3. SG Says:

    Oh, and Merry Christmas 😉

  4. Anaise Says:

    I am so very thankful for this message! It arrived in my email inbox yesterday right after my eldest (11yo sizzling daughter) and I had a desperate and horrible showdown over her failure to meet my expectations. My expectations weren’t terribly high ones, but I had a plan for the day, and she managed to mangle my plan beyond recognition . . . and I let her know just how frustrated I was.

    I needed this reminder to get me back on track.

    I need all of your reminders!

    I love my children so very much, and I struggle so very much to understand and nurture them.

    Today is going to be better.

    Thank you.

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