One aspect of Christmas which causes problems is that of unrealistic expectations. We are bombarded with images in the media of what the perfect Christmas looks like when, in reality, there is no such thing.
We all want the ideal Christmas, and the focus is on perfect gifts, endless fun, great social activities, wonderful family gatherings, sparkling lights, beautiful Christmas carols, love and goodwill etc. However, this can cause us to reflect on our own failings and the inadequacies of life. We may compare our life with other people who seem to be having a much better time. We may also become anxious at Christmas because of the pressure to spend excessively, to visit family, friends and acquaintances who rub us up the wrong way, as well as feelings of loneliness, regret and despair.
Many of us expect something magical to happen at Christmas, and when nothing special happens, we feel flat and disappointed. The fact is Christmas is just a day like any other, and building it up will only end in disappointment.
Having unrealistic or unfulfilled expectations is a sure way to ruin your Christmas. Whatever your expectations, look at them as objectively as possible. Ask yourself: “Am I being realistic?” Instead of holding on to unrealistic expectations of the perfect festive season, set new expectations that are based in reality.