What if the Christmas Cookies Give the Kids Nightmares?

Debbie Hatch  |  Family & F.I.T.


This might not seem like much, but what an absolutely profound statement!


We have so many expectations (I’ll get to the cookies in a moment).

Many of those are never communicated, yet we’re hurt, sad, and frustrated when things don’t work out exactly as we thought they would. We get upset because loved ones “should have known”, or “should have known better”.


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With the holidays upon us, I can give you a personal example.  Every time my extended family gets together, my husband accuses me (rightfully so….) of expecting some Normal Rockwell type of setting.



Love. Happiness. Sweetness. Everyone sitting around the table, smiling and getting along.

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The reality is, I don’t have that kind of family.

Just to be clear, there IS every single one of those things (love, happiness, smiling, etc), but it doesn’t look like the screenplay I had authored in my head.



My kids argue.

My grandchildren don’t just sit quietly and read books.

There are toys everywhere.  Someone just stepped on a lego.

Where are Hayden’s pants?  Why is he insisting on throwing webs everywhere?

Who’s crying?

It’s loud.


Is it really a fail if we spent time together, and the kids are proud of these?

Is it really a fail if we spent time together, and the kids are proud of these?



The cookies look like they belong in Nightmare Before Christmas instead of the bakery inspired concoctions I had pictured.

The cat is in the tree – again. I’m yelling!  My husband is yelling back.

My sisters and I don’t agree on how or when everything is supposed to happen.




People don’t show up on time.

I couldn’t find the sweater I wanted to wear. My hair is a mess and I have no time to do anything about it.



Let’s just say, there is a good bit of chaos.




I could – and plenty of times, I HAVE – be upset.

I could – and plenty of times, I HAVE – pout and get angry because this is not how it was “supposed to be”.


Or I could – which is more likely, these days – submerge myself into the middle of that craziness. I could laugh, help make a huge mess in the kitchen, and celebrate all that is imperfect about my life, and these people.



The fact is, when it’s over and I’m sitting quietly at home, it is precisely the chaos that I miss!!! When I look back at holidays passed, it’s THAT – not the perfect buffet table with background music playing and quiet conversation.

I had those expectations but I have this reality.


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