The Children AREN’T Nestled and the Creatures ARE Stirring
Clement Clark Moore needs a reality check. He penned “The Night Before Christmas.”
Moore made the whole thing up, including eight tiny reindeer. I think he wanted to do a good thing, but he sets unrealistic expectations that create dissatisfaction.
(Clement Clark Moore’s poem was originally titled “A Visit from St. Nicholas.”)
What really happens Christmas Eve?
#1. The creatures ARE stirring!
Mom and dad wish they could settle for a long winter’s nap on Christmas Eve.
Dad assembles a bike. Mom is wrapping gifts and cooking Christmas dinner at the same time. It’s 1:30 a.m. If mom is mechanical, she assembles the bike. But at least she reads the directions.
The ‘long winter’s nap’ lasts an hour or two if you’re lucky.
#2. The children AREN’T nestled.
The children can’t dream because they can’t sleep.
Our kids ‘dozed’ on Christmas Eve, if you can call it that.
Sometimes I sat on their bedroom floor and read Christmas stories by the hall light that peeked through the crack in the doorway (while the bike waited for assembly).
#3. Sugar plums aren’t plums.
Do you know what sugar plums are? Go ask an eight year old what they are.
I can’t remember the last time I ate a plum. And I’ve never eaten sugar covered plums in my life.
If you expect sugar plums for Christmas, you’re an idiot.
I just looked up ‘sugar plums’. They aren’t even plums! But you can buy a sugar plum essential oil on Amazon.
If you put sugar plum in your diffuser, you might actually see Santa this year.
Expectation impacts satisfaction.
- Ashes and soot ruin your clothes if you let them. Expect challenges and you won’t be disappointed.
- Expect to dedicate your life to generosity and you’ll always have a place.
- Expect people to be nervous around authority. Let them know they have nothing to dread. (Even when managing someone out, do it for their benefit, not just yours.)
Expect more of yourself than you expect from others.
What might leaders expect from leadership? (Good/bad)
What unrealistic expectations pollute leadership?
Note: I hate to disappoint you but this post, excluding the two above questions and this comment exceeds 300 words by 31!
Good morning Dan, happy Monday!
What might leaders expect from leadership? (Good/bad), Headaches, hangovers if you chose to partake, character labels, unappreciated, critiqued wrongly or correctly, long hours, mind never shuts down, always thinking a better way. Doubting oneself if you made the right decision. Trusting others to do things you can do. Everyone’s problems becomes theirs if they chose to take them on. The joy of seeing someone make themselves better, helping others believe in themselves. Making something better when you finish, intentions of prosperity for all.
What unrealistic expectations pollute leadership? Elephants can’t fly…. Seriously “Life’s not a bowl of cherries”. No one ever said “life will be fair”, neither is leadership. Actually thinking people listen when they speak. Leadership has it’s rewards of seeing others reach their dreams, and desires, along with the moments of struggling to help others before they help themselves. We only get out of life/Leadership what we put in.
Thanks Tim. I enjoy how you put this… No one ever said “life will be fair”, neither is leadership.
Expecting fairness causes disappointment. Many people would be doing better if they let go of the need for fairness. Just go out and do your best. But admittedly, it’s not always that easy.
I appreciate Tim’s comments on Dan’s posts. Life is a smorgasbord. Take what you want & enjoy it. Leave the things that do not appeal to you. Tim has great insights and I benefit from him sharing! Thank you.
This article was a waste of everyone’s time. You wasted your time writing it (not very imaginative, a couple quick google searches to sound researched and informed). But worse, you multiplied that wasted time by the number of followers who read your pieces religiously. Not sure why you didn’t pull this one out of the typewriter, crumple it up and shoot it at the trash bin…and miss. That’s how worthless this little ditty was and what it deserved. not being posted on your Leadership Website. I’m someone who tries to find the good in every situation. You challenged me here. I enjoyed #2 Expectation re. Dedication to Generosity. I will generously give back some precious time during this crazy holiday season by NOT forwarding today’s daily Leadership advice.
Thanks James/St. Nick. I was going to say that you should come out of your shell. But, I think you did. I wish you well. BTW, don’t read tomorrow’s post either. 🙂
“Ashes and soot ruin your clothes if you let them. Expect challenges and you won’t be disappointed.” When I turned my “attitude” towards life is just a series of challenges and we seek “solutions” for those challenges it all came together. I lead a much more fruitful life with this in mind and I’ve been successful in passing this onto my Daughter and Son. Even more delightful is that my Son In Law was brought up by his parents in this same manner.
Great affirmation, Roger. Don’t bring it up if you don’t want to make it better. 🙂
31 words??! haha! I am no longer satisfied because you busted my expectation. Just kidding.
Unrealistic expectations that pollute leadership – giving your team the impression that you can solve all their problems.
Thanks Alice. I’m working on tomorrow’s post and it might go over by 4 words. Just want to warn you!!
One of the worst things leaders do is try to solve everyone’s problems. It encouraged dependence and suggest people are incompetent.
Hi Dan: I’ve written before to comment on these articles, and enjoyed them when they spoke to my situations, and gave them a quick review and moved on when they were less relevant to me personally. I read James’ comment as a backhanded compliment –reading it as “I expect more from you.” — but since the column is on Leadership — if we respond with such brutal honesty to our Team members who are clearly striving to produce a good product for us — I would say it needs to be re-thought. All I’ve heard from you Dan, is how leaders need to encourage and model what we hope for from every team member. We need to speak the positive truth in public and speak the harsh-truth in private. A too-harsh ‘truth’ may break someone vs. inspire them to do/be better.
I wish everyone a peaceful, uplifting, and joyous holiday season.
Thanks Mary Ellen. I appreciate your insight.
There’s almost always a grain of truth in negative feedback.
Hey Dan, i just wanted to say “Merry Christmas” and “thank you” for every post, including this one.
Even IF the Grinch tries to impersonate Santa and tries to rain on the parade.
(To a worm in poo, the whole world stinks.)
And even IF this days post wasn’t a “home run” it still wasn’t a waste of my time. Worst case, it was an opportunity to remind myself that some days even a “base hit” can drive in the winning run.
and Merry Christmas!
Thanks Not St. Nick… “Some days even a base hit can drive in the winning run.” 🙂
I expect to have some fun and a hearty laugh at least once a day. That’s my main leadership go to. While you’re googling Christmas subjects today, look up comedian Art Carney’s scatological version of “‘Twas”. It’s a delight!
Thanks Scott. I looked up Art Carney’s, Night Before Christmas.” Wow… I had no idea that RAP began in 1954.
Ummm…I’m not sure that ‘scatological’ means what you think it means…:0
As children, my sister and I would lay in our sleeping bags in front of the fireplace in hopes of seeing Santa Claus arrive. Year after year in our childhood, we’d fall to sleep only to find, in the morning, evidence that he had visited- a bite out of our cookies and presents below the tree. So our expectations were partially met- Santa had been to our house, but we just didn’t witness it.
Merry Christmas to all!
Merry Christmas, Chris. When my wife was a little girl, she always found deer tracks in the yard on Christmas morning. 🙂
Wait! Mom or Dad assembles a bike? How does that work? Does Santa deliver it unassembled? Interesting post. However, my take on it is leadership tips and advice don’t always look the same to all and one might benefit differently from someone else. It’s important to keep an open mind. We must be adaptable, flexible, and willing to learn from each experience. I’ve always been more curious about “like the down of a thistle” than those dancing sugar-plums. Thanks for the post and Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
Thanks BL2. Interesting… I wonder if the down on a thistle is the same as the white seeds on dandelions.
I had to go look up thistle down.
After seeing the picture, it makes sense.
Good Morning Dan,
I thought your article was on point, it made me smile and think of the days of Christmas past when my kids were young. Back than my kids expected so much from Santa and couldn’t wait to get a glimpse of him when he arrived to put gifts under the tree. I too was the assembler and usually left a nut or bolt out off the training wheels of one of there bikes. When Santa Dad and Mrs. Mommy Claus couldn’t keep up with the demand of gifts and story telling about the North Pole the kids expectations of Christmas changed. When they seen all the hard work it took us ( Dad and Mom) to make there Christmas the best we could they quit thanking Santa 🤔 my son once told me “Dad it’s ok if I don’t get what I ask for this year as long as we’re all together”. The hard reality check in this case for me was seeing there faces when they found out Santa wasn’t real. Later in life as my kids grew older they would always crack jokes about Santa Dad and Mrs. Claus and we would all laugh, we enjoyed being all together and so in reality the kids and us all got what we wanted. It wasn’t about the gifts or the stories of Christmas that meant so much for us it was about all the effort and hard work me and my wife put into trying to make our kids happy. To this day my kids always reflect back on our efforts and what we did as parents to give them the best Christmas to remember.
“ Expect to dedicate your life to generosity and you’ll always have a place.”
Thank You Dan……
Thank you for sharing your story, Marvin. It’s a powerful reminder that relationships matter most. Your story reminded me of all those Christmas Eve’s when our children were believers. Although, I should add, we told our kids that I was Santa from the very beginning. They just laughed at us. But one day, it dawned on them that I wasn’t lying.