Every year, the conversation I dread sneaks up on me like a big bad stomach virus. Christmas. What do your kids want for Christmas? Where’s your list? You have a list, right? For everyone, right? What do you want for Christmas? Come on… there must be something you need. You have to give us a list.
There is no list. Even my kids don’t have lists! I know they want toys… they want lots of packages to open on Christmas morning. But what would be inside those packages? I don’t know. They don’t know. Oh, maybe if I had tons of money and space, I’d just make a list of whatever I think they might enjoy. Pass it around to whomever asks. But maybe not. Maybe I’d still feel like 95% of it was a complete waste of money. Because it kind of is. And I can’t stop thinking about the dozens of other things that would be more worthy of the money spent.
But how do I explain this to my kids… or family who want to buy them things? It’s just not going to happen. But dammit, there is no list.
The kids have only mentioned one or two LEGO sets they might like… nothing else. [Let’s not even get into how much LEGO is already in my house. Granted, it is one of the best toys out there – imagining, planning, engineering, physics, experimental construction. Wonderful. But we need a spare room to store it all… and we don’t have one. If we did, I’d be in it. Often. By myself. With the door locked. Without LEGO. Probably.]
But the list-badgering persists. If you don’t give us a list, we’re just going to pick stuff on our own. Ugh. I am unemployed. Don’t waste money on random stuff. I need the money… not the stuff. That is what I need for Christmas. Money. A job that doesn’t make me miserable. A spare room for LEGO… or for me. You want a list? Here you go:
- Enough money to allow me a minimum of 5 years to figure out what kind of job I can land that won’t eat my soul and kill me.
- A brain that can figure out what that job might be.
- That job. Get me hired for that job [even though I don’t know what it is or how/where to find it]
- While you’re at it, make sure that job pays at least 20% more than my last one.
- Space, time, and money to expand our house, or, if it’s easier, a new house that’s bigger, but similarly located.
- One more day with Dad so I can tell him I’m sorry about ages 14 through 21 and that I regret not being closer to him when he was alive.
- The power to crush all the worries that keep me awake at night and make me cry.
- A magic pill to slip into my husband’s Mountain Dew to make him more romantic.
- A world where cheeseburgers and cheesecake (and what the hell, peanut butter cups, too) are an essential part of healthy eating instead of a special treat.
- A real, understanding, caring, thoughtful, funny, kind friend who will give me a hug whenever I need one, talk to me when I’m down, sit with me when I’m lonely, pass me tissues as needed, take me out when I’ve been inside too long, distract me with stories about anything but me, make me laugh so hard tears fall from my eyes. And she/he should love coffee, too.
- Happiness like I haven’t felt since those magic Christmas mornings of my childhood when Santa had been to my house and eaten my cookies and left me a Barbie Dream House. With an elevator.
Oh. Well dammit. You wanted a list of random shit that you could run out into Christmas shopping hell and buy from, like, Target or something, didn’t you?
Okay. You win.
Get me a Target gift card.