The Death of Anticipation

It’s hard to wait for Christmas. Why? Because it might just be the only thing in the world kids are forced to wait for. Herewith, a timeline chronicling the demise of excitement, suspense and the simple pleasure of looking forward to something. (First published in Cookie; Text by me; illustrations by Brian Rea.)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What is 9 + 12 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)



halleluia. it still shocks me, as an adult, how quickly the time between t-giving and x-mas is, because i remember feeling almost electrified waiting for the big day (you know news footage, of some downed power line, how it skips and sparks and snakes on the pavement? that was me). i also have an embarrassingly clear memory of sitting at my desk in Miss Douglass’s first grade, daydreaming about Santa Claus.


So true, I laughed, but you really hit the mark. I just watched the Charlie Brown Christmas Special on iTunes with my daughter, and was explaining to her how we used to have to wait until the Christmas season each year when the Christmas specials would be on TV. (I’m dating myself, but my childhood was sans VCR/DVD/and of course sans iTunes)

I confess I miss that anticipation, it made watching the shows an event (anyone else remember gathering each year when The Wizard of Oz was on TV? We would always watch as a family, and I specifically remember root beer floats and popcorn were part of the tradition)

I’m not sure my family has anything quite like that now. But we do try to do family dinner. Kudos to you for helping us all keep that tradition going!

Trish O

I am also of the once a year Wizard of Oz family fun fest generation. I try to build in some of the old anticipation…but it is hard. Even with stuff it can be a challange. My kids “want” stuff (toys, games etc) and they seem to get new stuff at a constant pace. I told my 6 year old in September no new stuff until Christmas. I wanted to make the stuff that comes for Christmas special. However, he did get some new stuff already. I feel like my children have so many things that nothing is really that special. Maybe that is how it is with events as well. I miss the anticipation we well. It is all so instant and it is my fault with my kids. I give in too much.


So true! We try to grow a lot of the food we eat, and somehow when you’ve had the real thing, tomatoes and snap peas in December seem odd. Because our kids are part of this, they know that the snap pea and fresh strawberry season is all too short. And cucumbers only come when it’s hot, or when you’re at grammy’s house. Their lives are full of anticipation, especially mid-March when those peas go in the ground.


I don’t even give my kids a chance to anticipate most things, having learned long ago not to reveal plans— lest sudden illness, or bad weather, or other-party-cancellation, prohibit our going—until we are actually on the way somewhere. One mother at school told her daughter she was going to have a playdate with Jane “next Wednesday,” at which another mother mumbled, “Rookie move.”


Love it! TVs in cars used to really freak me out, I thought the parents must feel shameful letting kids watch tv when all they had to do is look out the window or torture their siblings. Now TVs are standard in many cars, and we have tvs in car repair shops, lunch counters, grocery stores, you cannot get away from screens anywhere.
“Be patient, be patient” is my mantra that will haunt my son for the rest of his life, bless him!


bridgit–what a good reminder that gardening is another example of having to wait for the good stuff. We’ve been wanna-be gardeners for years but with haphazard results (we live in the north with a lot of snow and a short growing season, which adds to the challenge). Your comment makes me renew my determination to do more gardening with my kids.


This is great. I haven’t experienced much of this, but my parents always talk about how they used to have to hear a song on the radio, take the bus to the city, buy a record with one song and listen to it for hours! Anyway, it was funny, thank you!


OMG, I just discovered Jenny Rosenstrach and I cannot stop reading DALS blogs! This post in particular proves we are kindred spirits. Thank you for helping me laugh instead of grieve 🙂 Cheers!