Somewhere in the course of a childhood or a lifetime, we learn to balance expectations and reality. It has much to do with learning the difference between wants and needs. We rarely do this perfectly in our everyday lives. It’s even more difficult in the heightened atmosphere of Christmas, whether it’s visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads or the bells and whistles of this year’s electronics. Sometimes what we imagine as the perfect Christmas present fails to live up to its hype, and we’re disappointed. Sometimes something that seems mundane proves to be valuable in ways that go far beyond the glitz and sparkle of Christmas morning.
—from the book The Peace of Christmas: Quiet Reflections with Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek