The Christmas List


It’s that time of year again. You know the one; where people are asking you what you want for Christmas and then telling you what they want “just in case you need some ideas.” The 9 year-old has already written her letter to Santa, even though she refuses to sit on his lap. I’d be leery as well, I guess, if I knew that in a few weeks that chubby old man was going to be sneaking into my house to leave gifts. I mean, our parents do warn us about strangers offering gifts, right? Still, that doesn’t keep her from asking for things. Lots of things.


The girls and I began to ask the questions this year, as well. “What do you want for Christmas?”


It’s a Catch 22 question, really. You want to be able to get them something they want, but you also don’t want to be trapped to a list. If something else catches your eye, you want the freedom to pick it up and surprise them. Of course, then you worry that they will be disappointed that they didn’t get what they asked for. They’ll be appreciative but disappointed at the same time. So, we ask with the disclaimer, you may not get it. It’s not really about what you want, but rather, about what I want to give you. Now smile and be happy. And to be honest, we have some great gift ideas for the kids. At least, we think they’re great. They will too, I’m sure.


And then that left the girls and me. What did we want for Christmas? We stared at each other a moment, each of us thinking of something we’ve been wanting but haven’t purchased yet. And we continued to stare.


We didn’t want anything.


We sat there, staring in to space, each one of us struggling to come up with something to offer as a suggestion, but in the end, we couldn’t come up with anything. We had what we wanted. Contentment. We had the gadgets and gizmos that we desired, the house was in the shape that we wanted for the most part, and we had our fun things. Oh, there are always things to buy, such as clothes, notebooks, books, music, a hat, or shoes for the girls, but there wasn’t anything any of us could say we really wanted.


And then we smiled at each other, because that meant it had been a good year. We had been able to purchase what we wanted when we wanted it and had found satisfaction in the things that surrounded us. Our eyes were not on the material, but on the other things that mattered, family, peace, and harmony in the home. If the bottom of the tree remained empty this year, no one would be disappointed, because it was what surrounded the tree that made our world, the people that filled our lives, the family that fills our home and hearts. It’s a good feeling, not being able to write a list of what we want.


I hope you get what you want for Christmas this year, but more importantly, I hope you already have it.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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