You get what you get – and you don’t get upset

This is a saying I dish out to my kids on the daily.

“You get what you get, and you don’t get upset.”

In other words: be gracious and appreciative for what you have or what you get, rather than whinging and whining about not getting exactly what you wanted.


Christmas time seems like a good opportunity to drive this point home – to remind everyone, especially the kiddos, to have and to share gratitude.

It’s a lesson I lived myself just recently. You see on Friday, it was my daughter’s school’s Christmas Fair. There is a concert where all the kids perform, followed by a fun fair on the oval. I volunteered to man the raffle stand, which was stocked with beautiful hampers created from student donations.

There I stood, escaping the scorching heat under our raffle booth, surrounded by incredible hampers filled with pool inflatables, Christmas treats, baking goods and toys.

As parents perused the various baskets they asked good-naturedly, “If I win, do I get choose which hamper I get?”

To which I trotted out my famous line: “No, if we draw your name, you get the corresponding hamper – so you get what you get and you don’t get upset.”

Then I’d spread my arms, motioning to the impressive spread: the Pool Party Hamper, the Christmas box, the BBQ park, the Love My Pet pack and more. “But all of the hampers are pretty incredible, so you won’t be disappointed!”

“I’d be thrilled to win any of these,” I said to one mum. “Well, except the pet hamper, because we don’t have a dog. But they’re all fabulous!”

Well, can you guess what happened next?

I won a hamper!

And I wasn’t gracious about it.

I wasn’t grateful or appreciative.

In fact, I whined.

Because the hamper I won was the Love My Pet pack!

“What am I going to do with all of this?” I muttered as I carried the giant hamper filled with dog bowls, puppy toys and tinned food to my car.

Fully aware that little eyes and ears were watching my reaction, I had to make a choice – silence my inner brat and show some appreciation for the effort that went into this beautiful prize, or continue being ungrateful and setting a bad example for my kids.

I quickly replaced my frown with a smile.

“Well, I guess we need to find someone who has a dog, because they’re about to get a nice surprise!” I said to my kids.

My neighbours, who are about to welcome a new puppy into their lives, were dead-set thrilled.

And I got a little taste-test of my own medicine.

I think there’s a lesson in that for everyone, don’t you?