Of course, the family asked what I want for Christmas.
Of course, I only know what I don’t want (shirts with epaulettes, what the hell is that about?
Then I actually started thinking about what I want.
~A replacement dinner plate for the one that is chipped.
~A covered butter dish that matches (white porcelain) so I can have soft butter and KT won’t think she’s eating dust.
~A double action airbrush because I want to use some of those techniques on a small scale (But I also already said I don’t want art supplies because I am flush with paint and canvas so this probably already backfired)
~A Calphalon grill with press (on sale at Target this week only) because ours got scrubbed to death and now is stick only instead of non-stick
~A Calphalon 1qt sauce pan with lid (also Target sale)
~Tupperware. Seriously, nesting storage tupperware
This is a lame list. (Maybe not the airbrush)
I remember wanting Transformers and GIJoes and He-Man figures. Now I really want practical things. Like gift cards to Apple Store (not App store) and someone to help move furniture because I really need to carpet the last bedroom.
I find it harder and harder as an adult to ask for things. First, I’m an adult, I should be able to get things on my own without relying on the kindness of family and friends. Second, I’m an adult, if there’s something I need or want, I go get it. I wanted an armband case for my phone so I can go running more easily. I didn’t really want to wait a month until Christmas to open that option up for me. I bought it. $15 and I don’t feel bad. Could I have waited? Yes. Was there really a reason to? No, not really except to give someone an imaginary check box to fill.
Do you want to get me something I REALLY want? Give me time. A couple extra years of grade school for the kids. An extra month in the Spring. A 25th hour every couple weeks. A 61st minute in the morning. C’mon you physics nerd friends, let’s do that one together.
That’s probably why I buy so much stuff for the kids. I love watching the excitement on their face; the overwhelmed rush of emotions. I remember having that on my Christmases growing up. It was amazing and crushing at the same time. So much to get through. So much to be thankful for. So much to play with. I know our Christmases are already crazy, both grandparents live in the same area code as we do. Am I artificially creating an emotional response in them? Yes. Will it be a lasting memory? Yes. Is that a bad thing? Ask their therapists in a few years.
But Christmas has become zero percent about me. It’s about these moments that I want to engrain in the kids memories. So I don’t care what you get me. I’m glad to be having the time together. Christmas is the one day a year where all of my wife’s clients also have off so I know there are no calls. I know that I can just hang out with our family. Christmas morning with my mom, Christmas afternoon with her family. Christmas night with everyone together. And 99% of that is watching the kids go nuts. And we don’t have infinite Christmases to spend with them.
I know they are growing up even if they don’t. They think the status will always be quo. But it won’t be. Things will change. People will move. Families will grow. Decisions will have to be made. But the memories that they take with them are going to be their foundation for their Christmas future.
So while I am genuinely excited to not have to go to Crate & Barrel to get odds & ends, I am also genuinely thankful to the people who realize, I’m an adult. I don’t need crap for crap’s sake and, unfortunately for the shoppers in my life, I have the things that I need. What I need is not what I want. And what I want is, sadly, unattainable.