All I Want For Christmas
My wish list to Santa is full of intangible items not easily purchased in a mall.
Maybe it’s because I’ve looked at the faded, blurry picture so many times, but I can still feel the shivers of excitement as my five-year-old self spotted Chatty Cathy atop the pile of presents reigning as Queen, resplendent in her white satin dress and halo of golden hair. Best of all, you could pull a string and she would talk-pure magic! The other presents faded into oblivion; the doll was everything, a paragon of perfection and I loved her for years.
I was at total loss for an answer when my husband asked me, 54 years post Chatty Cathy, what I want for Christmas this year. I’m in the fortunate situation of having everything I need in life; a roof over my head, running water and electricity, plenty of food in the pantry and clothes to wear. But for most middle-class Americans, Christmas is more about want than needs. Aren’t we the lucky ones? This year has been a tough one for me, but I’ve tried my best to be good so Santa, if you’re listening, please try to fulfill the wishes on my list!
- As trite as it may sound, I want peace on earth and goodwill to men. Peace on earth is a big favor to ask so I’ll happily settle for goodwill to men. I long for kindness- simple kindness. It may seem a foreign idea in the current cultural climate, but I believe each person can have an impact, if only in a small way. Think before you speak harshly, say a kind word. Let someone go ahead of you in line or pay for someone’s coffee. If you have resources, donate to those in need. Kindness can be contagious; strive to be the carrier and create an epidemic.
- Could your elves please concoct a magical spell to erase my wrinkles, errant hairs, crepey skin and all the other lumps, bumps and weird growths that somehow appeared the day I turned fifty?
- Eradication of all forms of child abuse, sexual, physical, emotional and verbal, would be the best gift. I look at my grandson who is surrounded by people that love and protect him, and I fervently wish every child was born into that situation. Can you imagine the societal repercussions if every single child were cherished and cared for; no more pain, no more neglect, no more lives ended too soon and too violently?
- A few days snowed in with no internet connection, no television and no cell phone connection. Some may think that’s crazy, but how I would love a few days of complete silence surrounded by good books, a fire burning in the fireplace and cookies baking in the oven!
- Equitable health care for all. For my Christmas gift, I would love for every person, but especially every child to have the same access to excellent health care. It’s an embarrassment and a moral crime that those who are born into less fortunate circumstances in the United States of America have a greater chance of suffering and even dying because of inadequate health care.
- Hideaway pizza, tacos and all cookies (yes, cookies again, I may have just a tiny problem), pies and cakes to be absolved of calories and henceforth be health foods. What a present that would be for me!
- Over 15 million kids under the age of 18 live in poverty in America. Poverty has many accompanying issues; high drop-out rates, high teen pregnancy rates and high incarceration rates. Santa, can you please bring a solution to poverty, food insecurity and homelessness?
The items on my list aren’t easily purchased, the desires of my heart are the intangibles. As Antoine de Saint-Exupery so eloquently stated in The Little Prince, “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” I think my husband may be out of luck shopping for me this year; the mall seems to be fresh out of peace on earth, goodwill to men, but I’m still holding out hope for Santa’s magic!