I know I am too old to climb on your knee, curl up in the crook of your arm and whisper into your ear all those things that I hope that you still have the magic to bring, but I thought I would send you my list anyway. I may be delusional, but I do think I’ve spent the year more in the nice camp than the naughty one, but if you opt for a lump of coal, I’m good with that. These days coal fetches a pretty penny, so I’ll put it to good use without complaint. If you think that I have some redeeming qualities, like biting my tongue when the bad words are screaming for liberation or attempting to de-moss the lawn even though I may have killed it instead, or coming to kitty litter rescue when all members of my family refuse to recognize the plaintive meow of the family cat, then I hope you will consider slipping under the Christmas tree something from the following list:
1. Patience. Maybe it’s the low blood pressure, but I come across to others as calm and in control. In reality, I’m inherently impatient. Once I see the goal, I want to attain it and I don’t suffer obstacles or delays very graciously. I could use a little dose of patience and if they come in a time release capsule, that would be very helpful.
2. A bipartisan and benevolent Congress. Think about what it would mean if we could show our children that we could share, play nicely with others, and put the good of society first. Imagine if we could create jobs, foster creativity, and change the focus from ourselves to our potential. I’d like to see what would happen if we stopped pointing fingers and actually did something. And if you can’t do that, don’t give them a lump of coal or they will squander it. I would suggest you put them all on the naughty list and leak it through Twitter or facebook.
3. Warmth. I’ll take it in almost any form. You could start with fixing the heat in my office where I spend a majority of time. Or how about a sincere embrace from a friend at exactly the right time. I’d even settle for a pair of SmartWool socks, but if you insisted, I probably could get away to spend a week in the Great Huts of Jamaica, you know, the ones on Boston Beach where I watched the last Presidential inauguration.
4. Do you think your elves could invent a self-cleaning house? The elves in my household don’t seem to have the slightest idea where to begin. They exhibit no inclination to pick up after themselves or notice when we are in danger of being overrun by dust bunnies or the dynamic duo of mold and mildew. It would certainly improve my weekend disposition and it certainly would help curtail the use of those bad words I’ve been working so hard on suppressing. It would go a long way to keep me on the nice list.
5. Adventure. I’m not picky, but you know that I like a challenge and I am easily bored. In the last few years I’ve had the fortune to travel to Mongolia, China, Italy, Jamaica, France, as well as attempting at least fifty new things in honor of my 50th birthday. Unfortunately, that only served to whet my appetite for more. And remember more does not mean expense. Some of the biggest adventures are the simplest. So, surprise me, delight me, but I for the record, I don’t need any more of the status quo.
6. A muse. Since I’ve challenged myself to take up the pen again, I could really use one of those legendary muses you hear tell about. You know, those who inspire you to write honestly, articulately, and challenge you to take risks you might fear to do on your own. You know: Gracie Allen to George Burns or Frida Kahlo to Diego Rivera or Yoko Ono to John Lennon. I could use a muse that whispers words of encouragement, tells me the truth whether I want to hear it or not, and reminds me to write, write, write even if he or she is the only one who will read, read, read.
7. 3:45:00. Yep, that would be a personal best for my next marathon, especially for this fifty-something woman. Alternately, I would settle for a 1:44:00 time for a half marathon. That speedy pace would automatically qualify me for the New York City Marathon. But in all honesty, I would be just as happy to cross the finish line feeling good, with a smile on my face and injury-free. And if you could accomplish that fleet feat without the laborious training regimen, that would be a gift!
8. I could really use a teenage disdain filter. You know, something that will allow me to ignore the look, the sigh, the tell-tale eye roll, or the tone of voice that betrays that my teenage daughter thinks I am either the most annoying person on the planet, a complete idiot, or the only mother who tells her daughter “no” or reminds her of her “responsibilities.” I think you might find something in your gift list under the letter “O” as a derivative of oblivious.
9. A crystal ball. This has been on my list for a very long time, but I could use it more than ever. I’ve reached a time in my life where I feel as so much more is at stake including the deserving non-profit that I manage, my teenage daughter growing into womanhood, and an evolving complex world. Some say there is no such thing as a crystal ball, but I know they exist because that’s how Dorothy avoided the Wicked Witch of the West and made her way back home. I promise I would use such a treasure judiciously and only for the good and happiness of others.
10. An extrovert for a day. I would not hold everything so tightly inside, I would say “I love you” to all the many people in my life that lift me up and make me feel worthy, not once but multiple times. I would just do and not think. I would laugh and really mean it. And I would cherish how it feels to be unmonitored and free, if only for a day.
Santa, please excuse the length of this list. It makes me feel that perhaps it is a bit self-indulgent and selfish. I wonder, does anyone ever ask you what is on your list? And who determines if you’ve been naughty or nice? If you need a second opinion once you’ve exhausted the resources of the North Pole, I’m a really good listener, I probably smell a bit better than all those cud-chewing reindeer, and I’m not as high strung as all those elves. I’d be happy to lend an ear. After all, there’s nothing better than sitting down for coffee (or do you drink cocoa?) and discussing the meaning of life with someone who has spent his life giving extraordinary gifts to others.
With great admiration,
A middle-aged woman who still believes