Do you remember being a child and sitting on Santa’s lap or writing him a letter telling him the wonderful things you would love for Christmas?
I still remember the year, when I was about ten years old and I wanted this beautiful doll for Christmas. It was all I wanted. It was similar to the American Girl Dolls we have today. I pined about this doll. It was one the years we drove from our farm in northern California to West Hollywood, to the home of my father’s sister and her husband. In my eyes, with a view of the city and a swimming pool, they had everything. My cousin even had a four poster white bed, something I dreamed about for years. It was a long drive, and my father put all of our presents on the top of the family car in boxes. I have never forgotten those windblown beat-up gifts being put under the prettiest tree I had ever seen. I was sad to my toes to see our pathetic gifts under their perfect tree with all their big beautiful gifts beautifully wrapped. Christmas morning came and I knew my main gift was the wrong shape to be that doll I coveted. My parents had given me a big pink fuzzy bathrobe. I opened the present and just started crying. No one knew what to do. To this day, my gifts are perfectly wrapped and NO ONE ever gets a bathrobe for Christmas.
When I was younger, in my twenty and thirties I always just wanted something special for Christmas and I was very lucky that happened for many years. My sons never lacked for gifts and got everything on the list that they gave me. I never had a list after that Christmas at my aunt’s house. I never wanted to be disappointed again. If you don’t have a list, you can’t be sad when don’t get anything from that list.
At my current stage of life, if I want something I buy it. I don’t need or want more jewelry, as it will just be a question of what happens to it when…. (Granddaughter Claire gets it all) As my sons grew older and didn’t really want much for Christmas, I started giving them memories. I took them hot-air ballooning over Del Mar, California. We had a very wonderful dinner at the Hotel Del Coronado for New Years Eve. We skied at Whistler, Mt. Hood, Mt. Bachelor, Mission Ridge and hit every ski resort locally. We ice skated, roller bladed and ate at a lot of wonderful restaurants. I attempted camping only once and failed miserably, but it was all about making memories. We cooked together and always had a candlelit dinner together on Sunday evenings. I think it was a good thing to do.
As I said now I don’t want “things” as gifts. If you were to ask me today what I really wanted, I might tell you that I would like the screen in the kitchen replaced where the paint drop made a hole when I tried to clean it. I would love the beautiful aqua fountain between my house and my garage to be working again, as I loved coming home to the sound of it. There is a tiny hole in the grout in the living room and I think I will just fill it in today myself, as it bothers me every time I vacuum and with Frostyman the Cat I vacuum each and every day. I would love to see the beautiful light fixture over my desk fully-functioning again. Four of the lights just quit working and it has to be taken apart to fix. So maybe I would just like a card that says these things will be done. That would make me so very happy. I would love to see the garage clean and fireplace on the back deck, so I can use my TRX in the garage and I would love to see the inside of garage painted and clean, but I think that is my summer project. (too cold right now)
If you ask me about things I love, I would share that I love the snow globes I have collected for years and if you could find more from Neiman Marcus, that would make me be very appreciative of you knowing something I care about. I may just leave them out all year and collect some from places I loved visiting. I think we need to have things in our homes that we love to look at and that make us smile. When I had a scavenger for my granddaughter’s seventh birthday last week, I realized I have some pretty fun stuff that I have collected and loved over the years.
Mostly I would love to spend the holidays with all my sons and their families and that just does not seem to happen any more. Luckily one son lives fairly close, so I do get to see him more. So maybe I will just go have a facial or massage, take a trip, go to the movies I want to see, read more books and spend more time in my studio sewing or painting. We all just need to take the time to do the things we love. Oh and of course I always find joy in cooking. Now I just need to find more people that want to eat what I cook.
What makes you happiest at Christmas? Is it the decorations, the food, the family or the camaraderie of friends getting together. When I was younger, Christmas always made me so very happy, but as I grow older and my children have lives of their own I do not look forward to the holidays nearly as much.