19 December 2005

Letter to Santa

I still remember when all I wanted for Christmas was my two front teeth. Now things have become so much more complicated. There’s fighting over parking spaces with possessive stare-downs between cars, lines fifteen people long and only two registers in use (one of the great mysteries of holiday shopping in my opinion.) There’s agonizing over that perfect gift, finally finding it and realizing you either can’t afford it, it’s the wrong size, or the wrong color. Then comes the rationalizing that Aunt Myrtle will actually love a hot pink turtleneck two-sizes too small, so you snatch it up for the marked-up Christmas price of $79.50 and decide you’ll worry about your credit card bill later.

I actually don’t have an Aunt Myrtle (that I know of.) But if I did, I would not buy her a tiny sweater. I would buy her a Chia Pet, mainly because I think Christmas (at least the consumerist side of it---which come on, let’s admit it, there’s a consumerist side much larger than there’s a Jesus side anymore) has lost its sense of humor. And I would love to see the words "Aunt Myrtle: Chia Pet" with a check mark next to it on my Christmas shopping list. That would bring me joy.

Jeremy and I were discussing this idea yesterday while weaving through parking lots in Cool Springs, a shopping area of town that couldn’t be more of a misnomer. There’s nothing relaxing or spa-like about it at all. We were discussing the fact that Christmas has become all about the gifts: the expectation of gifts, the quest for gifts, the purchasing of gifts, the pile of gifts, the unwrapping of gifts, the returning of gifts, and then by December 28th or so, the forgetting that there ever was such a big deal about gifts, until it happens all over again next year. And I was saying that I wonder if Christmas was just as “consumer-focused” when I was little but I was too young and enthralled with Santa and the magical hope of a tricycle to realize it, or if it has become increasingly this way throughout my lifetime. It definitely feels like it’s getting worse.

I do remember a day when there was joy and innocence (okay, maybe just a tinge of selfishness) in making my Christmas list. Afterall, in those days I thought little elves were creating my gifts out of thin North Pole air, and singing happily all the while. I knew nothing of maxed out Mastercards and ladies being mowed down in the middle of Wal-Mart so someone else could grab the last Tickle-Me-Elmo from her clutches.

In an effort to get back to a time when I remember Christmas being full of laughter and wonder and hope, here’s my letter to Santa Claus:

Dear Santa,

I hope you are doing well. Might I recommend a few classes of Pilates each week to trim up that middle section of yours. (I’m sure the thousands of plates of cookies you eat every Christmas Eve can’t be helping, but you really need to watch your consumption of trans-fats.) I realize this letter is a little bit late but if you can manage it in time, this year for Christmas there are a few things I would like:

1. Five more minutes with my dad.
2. A Christmas that truly remembers Christ.
3. Brown paper packages tied up with string.
4. Whirled Peas (or World Peace—whichever is more readily available)
5. And of course, my two front teeth…

…so I can wish you Merry Christmas.

P.S. Tell Rudolph I said hi.


Anonymous said...

K, You made me cry with your wish list. I know what a wonderful daughter you were to your dad and I know how much he loved you. One day last week I saw your dad's truck in the driveway and for a split second I thought John was home. Strange how the mind works after the death of someone you care about. Glad you are back on here because I love reading your blogs. So,did you get any subway practice in? Luv, GO

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