My mom has been bugging me to create a Christmas list for weeks now. “Can’t you just sit down and come up with a list for me,” she asks. So I pour myself a large glass of ice water, plop into my favorite chair and stare at my laptop. I have every intention in the world of generating a neat, little row of bullets that will help make my life more complete. The trouble is my life is already complete and I can’t seem to think of a single thing in life that I want or need.
I stand up, move about the house and walk from room to room waiting for inspiration to strike me. Nothing pops into my head. I stroll about for quite a bit, but still nothing. I wander into my closet. I could use some new sweaters, a jacket and a couple of long sleeve shirts, but buying clothes is unbelievably difficult. I’m over six feet tall and most brands simply don’t fit me. The only thing I dread more than creating this list is standing in line returning each and every article of clothing I receive on Christmas day.
God bless my mom. She wants us to be excited for Christmas as we were when we were children. When you are a kid Christmas is awesome, because you have absolutely no money to your name, no means of transportation and thus no hopes of buying anything for yourself. As an adult you buy what you need when you need it, so there really isn’t a lot of sense in asking people to buy you something when you can drive to the store and get it yourself.
My mom hates it when I give her a list of things we want with specific links to the places where she can buy them. She says there is no fun in that and while I agree I must say that it’s more fun that standing in long lines returning a bunch of stuff I didn’t want in the first place.
It’s not just wasted time for me. She’s also wasting time walking from store to store in search of the perfect present. When we all know perfect doesn’t really exist. That seems like a lot of time and energy that could be spent in better ways.
So this year I’m thinking about making a Christmas list with just one item. It’ll look a little something like this:
Rather than spending countless hours walking through malls and searching the Internet for things we may or may not like I’d like my mom to grant me the gift of time. We can spend that time baking sugar cookies with my son, rolling out play dough, finger painting, walking through my neighborhood or just sitting together in the living room. I don’t really care how we spend the time as long as we spend it together.
When all the presents are opened and Christmas day ends I can barely remember all that we received. With the gift of time we’ll have memories that will last forever.
3 thoughts on “The Dreaded Christmas List”
This is the first time I have visited your blog, it’s a good article and spot on in my opinion. I know exactly what you mean, parents will often want to try to recreate that Christmas feeling that we feel as children, but it’s different when we grow up. I know this has become so cliched to say but Christmas has become far too materialistic.
The gifts I am getting for people this year will be something that allows them to spend time with friends/family, and I won’t be spending that much. We have become to feel obligated to spend huge amounts of money.
Like you say when we look back do we remember the gifts that people buy us (often something we don’t need) or do we remember the times we’ve spent together?
Again, I know all of this is cliched but IMO it’s so important.
My mom and family ask me for a Christmas list too. This year I said I wanted all food items like coffee and chocolate – things I can use up!
I tend to ask for experiences. Concert tickets, massages, yoga classes, things that I would enjoy but might not get myself. On the time side I also ask for things that give me more time, like a session from a maid.