Traditions are great. I'm a big fan of them. We just celebrated American Thanksgiving and for our family that includes decorating the house, putting up the tree and having family for dinner. It's a highlight of the holiday season for me. It also launches us into the season of expectations.
One of the challenges is that every year circumstances change at Christmas. In my extended family, there will be a few people who won't be gathering with us on Christmas Day. I've decided it's time to end Christmas stockings. It really is long overdue. My daughter has her own children now and my son is in his 30's. I enjoyed doing them but I also realized it is time to let go of that tradition. Still I felt a need to explain to them they wouldn't be getting a stocking this year. I didn't want to disappoint them knowing it would be a reasonable expectation on their part.
Identifying your own expectations is important. And managing expectations other people's expectations will help you have a more meaningful experience. Learning to communicate and be open about what you can manage and plan to do can take courage. It's worth it in the long run though. No one wants to have the Christmas let down that comes from unrealistic expectations.
Last year I offered a email course on managing expectations. I'm going to offer it again this year. It's 3 emails delivered to your inbox beginning on December 1st. It contains a worksheet to help you get started. And it's my gift to you!