Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dear Santa...

I'm having trouble this year deciding what it is that I would ask for to receive at Christmas if I were to make such a "wish list." Thing is I really have everything I need and am quite happy with what I have. I'd truly be happy just to enjoy the holidays with my family, see the happiness on their faces and to maybe steal some snuggle time with kids who will one day (too very soon) be too old for hugs or even just away from home at school or elsewhere in their lives. Honestly, this is possibly the last at home Christmas we all have together as next year my son will be off at university already (likely in in another province). Life marches onwards.

Because there isn't really anything I need, the Mom part of me would be happy just to use any extra resources we have to make this a great holiday for the whole family. However, as unselfish as this might at first seem, the truth is that it is not helpful to my family, who would like to get me something for Christmas and keep asking me for input or other direct suggestions to that end. I'm not sure what to say even though I am aware that I need to find something to say.

I'm a Mom so I really do mean it when I say things like "I'd love it if you made me something" or "Whatever you think to get me would be a treasure to me" but this is mostly met with mild disdain and the rolling of eyes (yes, both from my teenagers and my husband). My husband has gone so far as to threaten if I do not come up with something for my Christmas wish list than he will be getting me some sort of trinket with "Homer" engraved on the side of it (for dramatic affect, I'm sure).

So as I lay here in my bed and contemplate this dilemma I find I am pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone. I already have a house full of possessions I may or may not use on a regular basis. I know that there are many places in the world where a small amount of money spent on me for a gift (that I might not need) could save the life of a child or improve the quality of life for an entire community. I do tire of the seemingly competitive nature of our throw away consumer economy and culture at times and yet I do realize (as I feel the same about giving presents) that my family desires to express love and attentiveness through the purchasing of a gift for me with their hard earned money. This is what our culture teaches us is expected, for better or worse. This dilemma is definitely a first world problem and in ways I am ashamed of my part in it. But I recognize too my helpless participation in it is required for many reasons. I am also relieved that this is the biggest issue facing me at this time. Life could be worse.

So, what can I tell you? There are items I suppose that I would be happy to receive, that in a perfect world full of infinite possibilities, I could see myself asking for. For example I would love to use an iPhone 4 with it's snazzy new camera, or have a video camera to make home videos for youtube or even a new camera body as mine has aged significantly. But all those cost enough money that it seems silly to ask for when I already own devices that perform similar tasks. I wouldn't cry if I opened an iPad on Christmas morning, but as I already have both an iPhone and a laptop why would I ask for that? I did want AppleTV but now with Netflix and Playstation Network the addition of AppleTV is merely superfluous. Indeed, isn't it all? That can't be the point, can it?

A scanner would help me get all my old family pictures into the digital realm (where I find I am spending most of my free time), my turtle would love to have a bigger domain to call his own (as would my goldfish), and (even though I have a gym membership) I'd love to have a treadmill at home so I can exercise everyday. I love having my hair and nails done and a tattoo would be cool. I love books (a better gift would be time to read I suspect, but that's not realistic) and I love to travel (I'd love to be going to see the last launch of the Space Shuttle in February). I don't have any winter clothes or a winter jacket (although I'm ok wearing Wes's jacket from last year). So I guess there are many ideas to choose from. I just don't want to ask for those things.

If I had my way I would ask for the gift of time. Personal time with each of my kids to get to know them as the people they are becoming and date time with my hubby, as well as family time together - a game night once a month, movie nights, day or weekend trips and time just to sit around and chat about our days. It seems as we all get busier and busier time for opportunities like this get farther and farther in between.  But these are the things that I crave, need and desire. I have a strong awareness that when I die these times will be all that matter to me, not what items I have possessed or consumed in my life, but the memories of the times I was held in love by those who love me in return. And if I am lucky enough that, when I die I am once again surrounded by family and friends and held by those who love me, then I will have had, all my life, everything that I've always wanted or needed.

So, Dearest Santa, please, if you can, show my wonderful and loving family that I will happily take everything and anything that they want to offer me and that it really is the thought that counts. I promise to cherish it (and them) forever.



Anonymous said...

I am a mom and a grandma and all I want for Christmas is the promise that I will be kept in the lives of my family even though they are far away.
Phone calls and emails during the year would mean so much when I am lonely and feeling unloved.
Forget the money gifts and just give me the love in your hearts.

Lynn said...

We had our "last Christmas with all the family together" several years ago,so I can empathize with your feelings.

Just be sure to take LOTS of pictures because as you get older,memories become more precious.

Gifts are the new way of saying "I love you" because kids are too embarrassed to say it out loud,that changes as you get older.

Accept them gracefully,some will be worth keeping forever.

Merry Christmas.