When I was a child my list for Santa went on forever and ever. I couldn’t wait for the toy catalogs to arrive in the mail, and when they did, I’d look through those catalogs from Sears and Montgomery Ward for days and days, just dreaming about what I wanted. I marked page after page of all the wonders of childhood favorites I just HAD to have!
Up until I was probably ten years old a doll, or two, was at the top of the list. I can still remember the excitement of dolls that you could feed and they’d actually wet their doll diaper for the little girl mommy to change! They were advertised as “lifelike” but looking back, and remembering the discarded dolls I found in my mother’s attic when I was cleaning it out, well, they didn’t look too lifelike. Their hair was painted on, and their bodies were made of hard rubber, not feeling in any way like a real baby. But as children, we thought those dolls were amazing, because we saw them with different eyes.
One Christmas I wanted a rideable stuffed horse so bad I didn’t know what to do. I saw it in the toy catalog and fell in love! I think I’d even named it, in anticipation of having it under the tree on Christmas morning! Which of course it wasn’t. I don’t remember whether or not I was disappointed, but I’m sure there were plenty of other gifts under the tree that morning. After all, when we were children Santa didn’t usually disappoint us, no matter what he brought. We were too excited, and caught up in the moment!
But that was over fifty years ago.
Times change. Children grow up. We become parents, and eventually grandparents. And we experience real life with all of its ups and downs.
Our Christmas lists change dramatically as we get older. Our daughter even mentioned that to me as we started our Christmas shopping, telling me that ever since she’d had her daughter in May, her priorities have changed. She just wants her child to have gifts; she doesn’t really want anything for herself.
That’s true for me as well. I really haven’t had much on my Christmas list over the past few years. The things I want can’t really be bought. And like our daughter, I want things for others who are important in my life….
Continued health and happiness for our new granddaughter as she grows from a baby into a toddler, and eventually a beautiful young woman.
A continuing blessed and happy marriage for our daughter and son in law. (And more grandchildren to come when they’re ready!)
Continued good health for my husband, who’s certainly scared us all over the past few years with a number of cardiac issues.
Financial blessings for several friends who are going through tough times.
Peace and reconciliation in families of some of our other friends.
Healed relationships and/or the right new relationships for those who are hurting and lonely…for new beginnings in a new year.
Healing from serious illnesses for some of our friends and their family members.
The safe return of a loved one deployed overseas in a combat zone.
A cure for cancer and Alzheimer’s.
The gift of a child for friends who are struggling with infertility.
A roof over heads and food on the table for many who are wondering how they’ll be able to make ends meet, especially during the Christmas season.
A badly needed new job, and reliable transportation to get there.
And this list is only for our circle of friends and their loved ones. I’m not even going to address the list of what our country, as well as the world we live in, so badly need.
Twenty plus years ago Amy Grant recorded the song “My Grown Up Christmas List.” I remember the first time I heard it, and how it touched my heart so very much. “No more lives torn apart…wars would never start…Time would heal all hearts…everyone would have a friend…right would always win…and love would never end.” A wonderful sentiment…a wonderful list.
Yes, as a child I had all kinds of toys on my list…material things that wouldn’t last. That would only make me happy for the moment. Until something new and better came along.
Now I’m grown up, whether I like it or not, and at an age where my wants and needs have dramatically changed.
The things I really want cannot be bought. Neither for myself or for others.
What’s on my list this year? You just read it.
What’s on your Christmas list?