Sunday, May 28, 2023

Anticipation By: Candice Smith

There are those who do not understand why I anticipate with excitement Christmas all throughout the year. They question my sanity, or, at the very least, my judgement. In truth, I anticipate with excitement every day of the year. But, by putting emphasis on special days or events throughout the year, it ups my JOY factor! And, it can increase yours, too!

Think back to childhood when waiting for your birthday was a yearlong event. Whether it was planning a party with a theme that delighted you, growing older to gain more privileges, or simply getting gifts you longed for, the anticipation of one's birthday was - is - all-encompassing. Of course, you'd live and enjoy every day, but thinking about your birthday - anticipating it - made your birthday all the more special. 

Another example of anticipation enhancing the joy factor is vacations. Time off from school/work is wonderful. If a trip is part of vacation, all the better to anticipate, but it's not even necessary. Anticipation of time off, lack of responsibility, and free time to pursue your heart's content is potent enough to keep you motivated at school/work to get to said vacation. As for a trip during that time off, anticipation is a pre-requisite! Often my anticipation of my impending vacation is better than my vacation! I dream of every detail - what I'll wear, where I'll go, the restaurants I'll eat in, stores I'll shop in, sites I'll see. It's always perfect in my anticipation. In reality, my trips are never perfect. Invariably things go wrong, and even if it is a brilliantly wonderful vacation, the anticipation of the vacation enhanced the vacation tenfold.

Finally, Christmas. Since my earliest memories Christmas season has brought me so much unlimited joy. In my home of origin as a child I had to wait until December for my parents to put up our tree and decorate for Christmas. The artificial tree would be assembled in the living room. It was so lovely. Then twinkling multi-colored lights were wrapped around. Finally, ornaments collected over my parents' lives together were hung on its branches. In the rest of the house my mother placed scant few decorations around - a knit Santa Claus pillow/doll on the couch, a small Christmas tree in the window, and we all pinned our Christmas stockings on the beautiful wooden mantel. I was mesmerized by the entire scene. Each day in December I would run home after school and sit at the base of the Christmas tree. It called to me, exhilarated me, and fed my inner soul. Like birthdays, time-off and vacations, Christmas anticipating was always more wonderful than actual Christmas!

In truth, I anticipate each day of the year. Daily I look forward to seeing my colleagues and students at school. I anticipate a spot of free time for a restorative nap. I've learned to anticipate and appreciate a much-needed workout. I anticipate and cherish time with my children, friends, and especially my husband. My birthday, time-off, vacations, concerts, plays/musicals, reading books, hiking, watching favorite TV shows or movies, time with my family, my husband, and alone are all things I anticipate. Christmas, when I look forward and anticipate it all year long, gives me enormous pleasure all year long, especially when I share the anticipation with others.

Try anticipating things with pleasure in your life, you will find how much happier it can make every day.

Remember, I love Christmas so much, I wrote my first book about it!