Yesterday was supposed to be tree-getting day.

But the tree place was closed. And the second tree place didn’t have big enough trees. And the kids were tired. And mom and dad were too.

So we scrapped it.

In holidays past, this would have wrecked me. I would have been frustrated that our favorite holiday tradition was getting interrupted, and sad that yet another thing I looked forward to wasn’t going to happen.

But yesterday… I let go.

I tossed my expectations up in the air with a dramatic raise of my arms… and I left them open to receive whatever else was supposed to be in store for us that night instead.
And instead, we decided to come home and decorate the house anyway. EVEN THOUGH we typically do the tree and the house in one big family night as quite possibly my FAVORITE day of the entire year.

Christmas music. PJs. Hot chocolate. The works.

But instead of being upset that a part that cherished holiday tradition was missing, I embraced that we would get TWO family nights this week instead knowing we’ll get our tree in a couple of days.

I embraced the excitement of a fresh new house to work with and figuring out what our new holiday decor layout would look like.

I embraced a moment of realizing how far I’ve come in my work on myself that I did not let disappointment wreck me.

And I embraced THIS MOMENT right here.

THIS MOMENT when I was watching my 7-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son work together to put up our tiny side tree. Because I felt PRESENT. I wasn’t filling my mind with negativity about a tradition-gone-wrong … I was looking at my kids and realizing how special this year is.

How we have SO FEW Christmases where the magic and the belief will be strong with all three of them. And how I refuse to let expectations fill up so much space in my mind that I don’t leave room for authentic memories to happen.

Because the reality is tree places will be closed. Kids will be tired. Christmas lights will break. Holiday cookies will burn. Lines will be long. The gift you need will be backordered. The store will have every size but the one you need.

But Christmas will pass too.

And I don’t want to look back and realize I missed the magic that lives in letting go of a perfect vision … and simply living in the moments that are right in front of you.

Written by Brea Schmidt

Leave a Comment