A Grown Up Christmas List
Every year at this time I'm asked, "What do you want for Christmas?" "Make us a list." "Put it on Amazon." I confess, I've done it too. It is a way to show you are thinking of each other with love and want to do something special for that person. Each year it has gotten harder and harder to respond to that or come up with "gifts" and "ideas" that those loved ones might like or ones they can afford, or I can afford. I really don't need a "thing". I'm trying to get free of "the wants" too. We've been given so much. We still have our health, a comfortable and secure home, family who loves us. What more could we want?
I now enjoy this time of the year through the eyes of my grandchildren. I enjoy the sweet memories we have of our Christmas' with our four boys. Yes, we still think of them as "boys" even though they are our "men" now and two are fathers themselves. I'm sure they have gotten lists from their kids but we haven't felt the need to. We like to surprise grandkids and try to get them things that they won't probably be asking for or getting from their parents. ie. electronic things. I think back to my favorite holidays with my parents. One definitely involved a new bike with "riser handlebars" and one involved the "new stereo" with records by Robert Shaw. Mostly they are all clumped together in "how to decorate the tree",ie. one piece of tinsel at a time, memorizing "The Night Before Xmas" and the motions to "12 Days of Xmas" and eating "Lutfisk" and other Scandinavian "Treats". It definitely involved church services going on and on and the music of the choir and organ. These now would be on my "grown up list" and be unrecoverable.
Traditions, I still think are so important in growing up in a family. ie. things you do every year just because you do. They must involve those closest to you, those you love and hope the best for. They are non-judgemental but they have a "yearning for what could be" or "could've been"...yes, they are bitter-sweet. Life just doesn't turn out like a "Norman Rockwell Painting" and especially not a "Thomas Kincaid Painting".
Yes, top of my "grown up list" would be the health and happiness of those I love, yes even those I won't be allowed to see. More time becomes a "list topper" too. Time to do the things I've always wanted to do with them and with ourselves and friends. There are still many places on this Earth I'd like to experience. I used to have "a list" of those too. ie. I, at one time, wanted to hike the length of the John Muir Trail through the Sierras. I wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail from end to end. Don't think I'm going to make those. I wanted to sing in Carneigie Hall in New York City but my one chance had to be passed because it was right after "911" and there was "fear" in the family. I also gave up the Olympics back there for similar reasons. Yes, there are regrets, but they pale in comparison to importance of the security and integrity of my family and loved ones. At one time I wanted to get my pilot's license. What a dreamer I was. I can only hope that my sons and grandchildren will have such dreams and more...and achieve them.
My Christmas List is for them and their happiness. I would hope that they would find faith in their lives and in their loved ones. Bob!