When the Gift Disappoints

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas — just like the ones I used to know…

I hate disappointing people. But with songs expressing familiar sentiments like that, ’tis the season to disappoint!

The other night Amelia (7) was very sad. I asked what was wrong and through tears she began listing off a bunch of ways I failed so far this month.

You SAY we’re going to do this and we don’t. You SAY we’re going to leave at this time and then we leave ten minutes later and I’m always late. We haven’t done the advent calendar and I’m NEVER going to get my gifts ready in time for Christmas!

And in my head I added…

And the flippin’ Elf keeps forgetting to move and never does anything fun!

By the time she was done, I was a hot mess of tears. She felt bad for making me cry but the truth is, the girl speaks truth. I DON’T follow through on a lot of stuff (for all kinds of reasons that a 7 year old can’t understand), and I DO underestimate how long it will take to get places (about 10 minutes under MOST of the time), and the poor girl HASN’T gotten to read our special advent activity every morning (even though most days we do something special, eventually), and the Elf DIDN’T take the peppermint stick she gave him or pop into her room this year (good thing he leaves a letter explaining everything before he goes back to the North Pole)!!!!!!

But the big question remains – will we get our gifts complete in time for Christmas? Will everyone like what they get or will they be disappointed?!

Here are my thoughts on the matter after a few days of reflection:

  • Disappointing people is devastating to me. I hate to be the cause of someone else’s suffering, for any reason! But then again, I am a person in relationship with other people. It comes with the territory. I guess I could wallow in self-doubt all the time, but where would that get any of us? I’m pretty sure self-deprecation never made anyone more loving. Sometimes it’s best to ask forgiveness, regroup and move on.
  • Christmas gifts are a lot of fun, but geesh! What is the point if I’m tense and worried leading up to Christmas and apologetic and defensive when it’s time to open presents? Who would want to be around that?! The truth is, nothing under the tree compares to the love I have to give. Nothing.

 Nothing Compares to Love

So the next time I disappoint, I hope to graciously admit it, let it go, then step right back into relationship with all that I am.

Merry Christmas, Friend!  

*I would love for you to share this post with friends, if you feel so inclined! Let’s get the word out that this Christmas – we’re gonna love.*