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Nothing big under the tree for you this year? Hoping to wake up to Christmas magic and instead woke to new pajamas and the same old cheesy perfume they get you every year?

Most of us have incredibly unrealistic expectations this time of year. We pretend those big item gifts on our wish list really don’t matter. We hide (or at least try) our disappointment when the homemade hot cocoa doesn’t turn out like Pinterest said it should or the wait to pass through the neighborhood wonderland lights display is two hours long. We mope around, hoping someone will feel sorry for us.

Why? We focus too much on what we will get and not enough on what we will give to others.

Last year I expected a magical, awe inducing flurry of gifts to fall out of my stocking when I turned it over to dump out the contents.  What I actually got was a few small, thoughtful gifts. Nothing big. Nothing like the stuffed stockings my Mom used to put together when I was growing up. The magic was gone. I was not impressed.  I had great expectations my husband or family could never possibly meet.

I wish I had left my unrealistic expectations behind. I wish I had just enjoyed the moment, the season, the wonderful things I have received in my life. I wish I had focused on how I could give to my loved ones instead of take from them.

When we focus on what we will give instead of what we got, life is fuller and richer. Therein lies the magic.