All I want for Christmas

December 23, 2018

Sometimes the holiday season feels like one long train of events where I ride in the caboose with no clear vision of the conductor. If I let the train run at full speed, then by the time Santa comes, I’ve eaten every cookie, double-spiked the eggnog, and simply want a silent night.

A friend asked me, “What do you want for Christmas?”  

When I was 10, I wanted roller skates and a black patent leather purse. At age 64, the answer is complicated. 

The only gift I want is to spend more time being grateful and happy than complaining or feeling sad. I want to see my family more often, not read text messages. Though well-meaning,  it makes me long for them more.

Perhaps Mrs. Claus could lead some support groups about forgiveness. I want to forgive and to be forgiven when I have hurt others. We all make mistakes.

I want to take the best care of my aging body that I can, and learn to love it with age spots and wrinkles.

But most of my Santa wish list seems futile.

Why can’t Santa cure cancer? I want everyone who is receiving chemo to feel the love from their families and friends stream into the IV bag. Help us to learn how to care for you as best we can.

I want Santa’s elves to stop making toys and become trained counselors to advise all who seek relief from depression. And give them the means to pay for treatment.

Can Saint Nick restore patriotism in the United States by making us proud of our own government? Can the words “fake news” be replaced with “the truth and nothing but the truth”?

Eleanor Roosevelt wrote in her autobiography. “We continue to expect the world to be grateful to us and to love us. We are hurt and indignant when we do not receive gratitude and love ... What we should seek, rather than gratitude or love, is the respect of the world.”  

Don’t we all want the United States of America to be respected for the good we do in this world? To work with other countries to solve our global problems? Life-threatening problems.

This season let us be grateful for water, food and shelter, and to share those commodities with others. 

I wish all of you a beautiful Christmas or whatever holiday you are celebrating! And I challenge you to answer the question: What do you want for Christmas or in the new year? My next column is due Jan. 7. Surprise me.