My husband has asked me that question several times. And I can’t give him the answer he’s looking for.
Because what I want just cannot be bought in a store, put in a box, or wrapped in a fancy package.
This year has been difficult with many challenges. We’ve lost friends, and friends have lost loved ones. Our daughter is going through a difficult pregnancy and this mother’s heart is stretched with worry.
In years past I always had a Christmas gift list. This year I have one for family members, and close friends, but I honestly can’t think of a single material thing that I want or need.
Because the things I want cannot be bought online or in a store. They aren’t even for sale.
First on my list is our new grandbaby arriving safely and healthy. And to see the smiling faces of our daughter and her family in person, as we’ve been quarantined from them since Thanksgiving.
My list includes good health for us all. And affordable and easy to get healthcare. And I want our healthcare choices to be between us and our physicians, and not dictated by politicians seeking re-election. And this includes access to mental health care as well as physical health.
My list includes the epidemic of mass shootings and senseless violence to end. I can’t remember many days this month in which I haven’t heard about someone going on a rampage with a gun, ending lives for no reason and destroying countless families. I want this to end.
My list includes our country retuning to a semblance of unity. For the political parties to end their partisan games, vicious name calling, and ridiculous conspiracy theories. I want all of the sides to come together and work for the good of what’s left of our system of government and put it back together instead of calling for senseless investigations that waste time and money, and calling for an end to the Constitution, which in effect could result in a civil war.
My list includes people being free to love who they love without being afraid to make their relationships public. Who a person loves is a private choice and I have no right to condemn anyone for that choice. And neither does anyone else.
My list includes an end to homelessness. No one should have to be without a roof over their head and food on their table.
My list includes an end to the war in Ukraine, and the lives of those people so devastatingly affected being put back together.
My list includes an end to racism, an end to antisemitism, and an end to people hating others simply because their religion is different from theirs. (And by the way, that’s definitely not love, if anyone is wondering.)
And my list includes an end to all the bickering, back biting, name calling, and meaningless hate messages I see on social media. It’s not healthy, and it’s certainly not in the spirit of Christmas.
My list includes friends, former friends, and families starting to care about each other again, and remembering what they once loved about each other, and finding that love again.
There isn’t anything on the list that just one person can give another. Everyone has to work together to make these gifts a reality. Yes, we will get to see our family very soon now that we’re finally well, but the other things…they require all of us to work together for that goal, and at this point I’m not sure that can even happen anymore.
Yes, that’s what I want for Christmas.
Who else wants that as well?