"Yes, how can I help you?"
"I'd like to return this Christmas present if I could, please."
"May I ask why?"
"Well, it must be broken. It certainly didn't work how I expected it to."
"I see. Could you be a bit more specific, just for the record? What exactly is wrong with this Christmas present?"
Well, first of all it isn't like any of the others..".
"You expected it to be like the others?"
"Well, maybe not exactly, but at least similar to what's on the package. I'd say it's false advertising at best."
"You mean the promise of joy, peace on earth, love, happiness..".
"Yeah, that mumbo jumbo."
"Ah I see. Let me ask you a few questions. Did you read the instructions before you tried to use this Christmas present?"
"Sure, I've read them a bunch of times. But they get a bit confusing sometimes. It seems like I'm missing a page or that there are two separate sets of directions, and I don't know, maybe my present is missing some pieces."
"Two separate sets of directions? That must be the problem. May I see them? Maybe we can fix this Christmas present for you yet."
"Ah, here's the problem. You've been following the wrong set of directions. That's why this Christmas present hasn't been working as well as your Christmas presents in the past. And you are right, you are missing some pieces."
"This first set of directions says that your present should be filled with unbroken traditions, no change, lots of gifts, no problems, tolerance in all things, and happy happy people all around you (even if they're not)."
"Yep, that sound like the directions we are trying to follow."
"But there is another set here."
"What's it say? "
"Just two words actually."
Ah, Jesus I'm so sorrry. I wasted a perfectly good Christmas present trying to make it like Christmas in the past. Things change. but you are always the same, yesterday, today and forever.
I love you.
And Happy Birthday.