Sitting in my living room listening to pre-Canada Day fireworks behind my house gives me a comfort and joy I rarely get from anything else because holidays are pretty much my favourite thing life has to offer. Working with kids, I celebrate every holiday known to mankind with decorations, themed books and songs, and holiday-inspired crafts. I have a collection of holiday knick knacks tucked away in my hope chest that I’m dying to be able to display in my future apartment (s/o to after-holiday sales for my Easter bunny napkin holders) and 2014 will be the fifth year I have worked for the local mall Santa Claus. But after every holiday I’m struck with the aching feeling that it didn’t live up to the expectations I had for it.
In Canada, July gives us pretty much our only moment of true patriotism: Canada Day. I’m not patriotic unless someone disses my country, or if it’s Canada Day. I swear, I almost bought Canada flag temporary tattoos the other day (I put them down only because I found a terrycloth tie-dye backpack, so take from that what you will) in preparation of Canada Day and I aways get excited to see fireworks even though I’ve only gone to Canada Day fireworks, like, 3 times in my entire life.
I’m the person who spends three weeks making Easter gift bags for all the kids in my class only to have not a single parent thank me; I bring candy cane hot chocolate packages to a Christmas trip in New York City only to be put in a hotel room with no kettle; I have threatened to get a picture with my friends and ugly Christmas sweaters four years running; I spent last Valentine’s Day watching Bones on Netflix and eating the saddest personal pizza. Holidays have notoriously not been good for me, but I still count down the days until each one like my life depends on it.
Although my track record might not be amazing, I think the key to failed expectations of everything is finding the joy where you can. If the preparation and excitement for whatever it is is where you really thrive, let that be enough for you. I find in almost every situation my expectations greatly exceed the outcome (I was going to insert a joke about Great Expectations here, but I will refrain because I think I’m the only person on earth that isn’t a grade 10 English teacher that has actually read the whole thing), but I try to let myself be okay with that. Life isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey after all. Now excuse me while I start my countdown to Christmas and dig up my stash of candy canes.