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Holidays are an exciting time. Many look forward to getting together with family and friends and celebrating the winter holidays, whether they are Chanukah or Christmas. People want to be happy all the time, but during the holidays, they expect to be happy. During the holidays, many of us feel entitled to be happy. After all, “everyone” is happy, right? (remember we said that to our parents: “Everyone has that toy, everyone has those shoes….” Remember the answer our parents gave us?)
Lots of scholars have written about what constitutes happiness. In fact, Dennis Prager, renowned radio personality devotes an entire show to that elusive feeling called “happiness.” He calls it “Happiness Hour.” Some people are forever chasing happiness, and others find it right within their self. They are satisfied with their lot. No expectations.
In another article about Expectations, I have discussed several factors that prevent us from being truly happy in life in general, and during holidays in particular. These are expectations. Expectations can be poison because high expectations from others are often an invitation for misery.
How can we be sure that others will fulfill our exact expectations? We can’t.
During the holiday season, we want to enjoy ourselves. Let us be careful not to set ourselves up for disappointment when we place too many demands – spoken or unspoken on our loved ones. Give ourselves lots of latitude to be grateful.
Now that’s a happy camper!
Tags: Chanukah, children, Christmas, Dennis Prager, expectations, family, gatherings, happiness, holidays, latitude gratitude, misery