I liked this article about setting expectations for the holidays. This part especially:
2. Let go of expectations.Expectations are planned disappointments because we are too attached to the outcomes. When we go into a situation with a desired outcome already set in our mind, we will wind up disappointed.
The key, then, is to let go of expectations and allow things to unfold in the moment. After all, the moments when we are truly surprised, grateful, and happy are when the unexpected happens.
“Gratitude is the key to happiness and anything that undermines gratitude must undermine happiness. And nothing undermines gratitude as much as expectations. The more expectations you have, the less gratitude you will have.” -Dennis Prager
3. Be present in every situation.You’ll more fully experience each situation when expectations are reduced and events are allowed to simply unfold. You’ll connect more with your children. You can listen and spend richer time with your spouse. You’ll give of yourself more freely.
When you are more present and engaged, you can give your family the greatest gift of all – your presence and your love – with no strings attached! And what a great holiday gift that will be.