It’s Little Fish’s school carol concert today – her final Junior School performance – I will almost certainly cry; I do most years.
It’s more to do with old lady hormones than anything else I think, but there we are.
And while crying at a concert feels right and proper for this ‘most wonderful time of the year’, for the rest of the season I make a conscious effort to remember that while Christmas can have it’s wonderful moments, it’s more helpful to keep expectations low.
There’s pressure from all sides to get everything perfect though, isn’t there?
New pyjamas for the kids, piles of incredible gifts; the knock-out meal, the beautiful table, the impeccably-behaved family… not to mention a suddenly immaculately groomed us, resplendent in sparkly sequins – but aren’t those expectations so unhelpful?
Because our realities so rarely measure up to the images we’re sold.
Sure it’s a celebration of our favourite guy’s birthday and that’s a huge deal, but it is only one day.
Christmas dinner is a nice roast, shared with our loved ones – however that group of faces looks this year.
The pressies are sweet tokens to show our closest people that we love them, but that love can be expressed simply and well within budget.
And whatever the shops may tell us, it’s okay if our festive outfits are just bits pulled from our wardrobes because they make us feel a little bit pretty or cosy.
It can be a wonderful time of the year, but not because everything’s Insta-perfect.
The wonder is to be found right there in the midst of the gravy stains and over-cooked sprouts… God’s gift to us: life in all it’s glorious messiness.