Pitner Orthodontics December 2018

THE STRAIGHT UP

December 2018

Schrödinger's Christmas Present The Magic of Anticipatory Savoring

The single greatest sorrow in my life may be the fact that we never get snow in South Carolina. I’ll admit, that’s a bit dramatic. But as a kid, I was sad that Christmas didn’t look like the pictures in storybooks. I have always loved Christmas. I love the music, the decorations, the food, and above all else, I love gifts. I’m a gift shaker. Even today, if you give me a present, it better be wrapped securely because the first thing I’m going to do is shake it and guess what it could be. As a kid, I loved the gifts that were beneath the tree weeks before Christmas because I got to shake each one and try to figure out what’s inside. I got so good at guessing that my parents started to wrap my gifts in elaborate ways to throw me off the scent. They even put extra things inside the box to make it sound different when I shook it. Their efforts made guessing even more fun.

getting her every year. I couldn't even think about it around her, because she could figure the gift out frommy brain waves! It must be genetic. Over the years, some people have said that guessing right somehow ruins the surprise, but we’ve never felt that way. If I guess right, then I’m excited to be right. And if I’m way off, then I get to be surprised by what my present actually is. I like the game of guessing gifts because it’s like Schrödinger's cat; until I open the present, anything could be inside! While I still like guessing gifts around Christmas, I tend to be more excited these days about giving gifts. Not to brag, but I’m a pretty great gift-giver. I like to surprise people and pick out things they didn’t know they wanted. When I buy presents for my friends’ kids, I most look forward to seeing their pictures on Christmas Day. Of course, Buster gets presents, too. Sometimes I am so excited to give someone a present that I make them open it early! My joy of guessing and giving gifts falls under a phenomenon called anticipatory savoring, which is just a really fancy way of saying you’re looking forward to something. Some people can get as much enjoyment out of looking forward to something exciting as they do experiencing that thing. High expectations can lead to disappointment,

but the difference is that I’m not expecting anything specific when I look forward to a trip, gift, or holiday. I’m more looking forward to experiencing what happens, whenever that may be. Anticipatory savoring is part of the reason I love Christmas so much. Starting the day after Thanksgiving — or maybe a few weeks before — we start to get ready for Christmas. There’s music in the stores, colorful lights on every building, kids lining up to see Santa, and holiday magic in the air. Even if it never snows, I love that we all get to look forward to Christmas and the holiday season together. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you all. I hope you have something wonderful to look forward to this season! –Dr. Leslie Pitner

This passion for guessing gifts comes frommy mom. She could always figure out what I was

“WHILE I STILL LIKE GUESSING GIFTS AROUND CHRISTMAS, I TEND TO BE MORE EXCITED THESE DAYS ABOUT GIVING GIFTS.”

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