dreadful conversation.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. A brain that can figure out what that job might be.
  3. That job. Get me hired for that job [even though I don’t know what it is or how/where to find it]
  4. While you’re at it, make sure that job pays at least 20% more than my last one.
  5. Space, time, and money to expand our house, or, if it’s easier, a new house that’s bigger, but similarly located.
  6. 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.
  7. The power to crush all the worries that keep me awake at night and make me cry.
  8. A magic pill to slip into my husband’s Mountain Dew to make him more romantic.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.


About what sandra thinks

Sandra is a writer, sometimes blogger, poet, artist, emotional disaster. She thinks far too much and sleeps far too little. Sandra lives in the Northeastern U.S. but dreams of an oceanfront home in Italy, but she would settle for a non-oceanfront home in Italy. She loves books, brutal honesty, coffee, and the color black. She hates insincerity, beer, whipped cream, and facebook. And she is uncomfortable talking about herself in the third person.
This entry was posted in anxiety, family, holidays, humor, personal, rant, writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to dreadful conversation.

  1. Another great post Sandra. Great read!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think its such a shame that Christmas places impossible demands on parents, especially when money is short x people will tell you it’s not about the presents, it’s about family time, loving and sharing – but try telling that to a child who wants the latest gadget or top selling “must have” I’ve always told the kids that although Santa brings the parcels – we have to pay him, that way there is no confusion as to why little Johnny up the road has loads more – they understand that much x it’s hard but I’m sure so many relate to your post xx as for number 10 on your list – I send you a virtual hug – but I don’t like coffee 😊 keep smiling xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. gigglingfattie says:

    How about, especially for your kids, gifts of “time”. So like the gift of an afternoon at a museum, or going to the park, or going swimming. It doesn’t clutter up your house, and it gives them special time with special people, and memories for later? And for those times where it’s you giving the gift, you can give things that are sentimental not expensive “The gift of a movie night at home, where you pick the movie” doesn’t cost you anything other than maybe for some microwave popcorn and the hydro?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Those are great ideas. I’m not sure how it could work since the rest of my family is a little scattered around. We don’t really live close enough to each other to plan stuff like that. And of course, I worry about their disappointed faces on Christmas morning when they don’t have many gifts to open and play with. That was huge in my childhood — discovering new toys and games on Christmas morning and then playing with the toys and mastering the games… All before dinner! 💙


  4. izabolinha says:

    Even when you are sad , your humour shines through ( signs of a great brain – both of them ).
    Your job will be in writing , keep practicing , so when it shows up – which it will – you feel ready to grab it. 😉
    Kids – mine used to make lists , but just with those things that they really really wanted the most and only a few , and knew that even so , Santa might not be able to gift them everything they wished for but would try. If the first thing on their list was a somewhat expensive item , parents would join with aunts or grandparents and gift it together. Have distant relatives give you the money , you buy it , they open it on Christmas morning , you take pictures of them going all smileys and send the pictures with a thank you card to the gifting ones .
    As for you ask for gift cards and buy something for you that you would enjoy and not buy for you – it’s Christmas and you deserve it ❤
    Lots of Turtle Hugs (from this crazy turtle who has suggestions for everyone , but herself) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jonathan says:

    I have been badgering our kids for weeks with “what do you want for Christmas” – little do they know that their presents are under my desk at work 🙂 We did the same trick last year.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. bp7o9 says:

    Hm. What parents need is an Aunty Xmas, someone who goes into shopping malls with their kids and notes down all the stuff they look over and touch and seem to want SO much. You think there’s a job in that for you?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have just started this with my son, although he wants everything on the cartanito channel. I struggle with figuring out what my partner can get me let alone anyone else. I now go for restaurant vouchers. Or Just eat vouchers. Really great post, so glad I found you

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve started telling Mom to get me everyday stuff I might end up buying for myself anyway… like the scented shower gel I like and a candle and few kitchen towels and a new pillow for my bed since mine’s getting flat. Boring but useful things… and then she has something to wrap for me.

      My daughter came up with a list… just this weekend. She wants everything. But my son, my husband… and even me… much harder!

      Liked by 1 person

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