So it’s that time of year again.
Every year this same week, I ask my kids for a Christmas list. More like I threaten them with coal in their stockings and a tell-all letter to Santa (this only works on two of my kids now) if they don’t ante up with a list, pronto. Maybe that’s kinda mean, but in my defense, Thanksgiving is next week. And since I consider Black Friday a holy day—falling on the holy scale just under Easter and Christmas itself—I needed their stinking lists. Now!
So they wrote them. And handed them to me. And I scanned them…and scanned them again.
And in the poetic words of the Rolling Stones, “You can’t always get what you want.” If truer words have ever been sung, I haven’t heard them. Except for maybe Mandy Moore’s “Candy.” Because I, also, love candy. I miss it when I have none in my house. Because a house without Milk Duds is not a house I want to live in.
Not sure if that’s actually the point of her old song, but it should be.
Anyway, after reviewing their lists, I realized that I didn’t. Get what I want, I mean. Because what I wanted was a list of ten or so items like Tinker Toys, Play Dough, a Checkers board, maybe an iTunes card or two.
But my kids are growing up…hardly anyone asks for play dough anymore. And no one is happy with wrapping paper and an empty box like they used to be. Ah…those were the good days.
Which means what I got, instead, was this:
Purple Beats by Dr Dre, Black Beats by Dr Dre, a trampoline, a glitter guitar like Taylor Swift’s, a laptop, Justin Bieber concert tickets, Justin Bieber himself, Uggs, a Pool Table, a Motorcycle, a new drum set, cymbals, a Four Wheeler, a car, Walmart Stock, a bucket of bacon…
That last one was my favorite. And not at all unusual from someone growing up in my house. And it totally got me thinking….
On this list of ridiculously expensive items…items that will practically cost me a half-year’s salary to purchase, I found a glimmer of hope. A way to teach my children that Christmas isn’t only about the things we get, it’s about the things we give away. It’s about sacrificing something on our lists so that we can add to someone else’s. It’s about sharing, about making other people happy. And to teach them this, I must start with me. So I think I will.
Tomorrow, I’m totally buying the bucket of bacon.
And frying it up for myself.