When I was a kid* I would ask my parents what they wanted for Christmas and without fail they always told me they wanted the hardest thing to get them. My father would always say “I just want you to be good” and my mother would say “anything”.
Both answers sucked.
At the time the easiest one of those gifts to give would have been to be good. I could manage to be good for one day. Truth be told I was a good girl. I kissed ass when necessary and until I hit my teens and discovered I had a different opinion than my mother on absolutely everything, I was pretty easy to get along with. While I didn’t have control over my brother, I could have done something about my reaction to his shenanigans and maybe not gone running to my parents, or calling my dad on the phone at work, every time he did something I didn’t like.
The trouble with that gift, to be good, was that I didn’t think my father really meant it. What a stupid wish, when you could ask for just about anything in the world (or at least anything that cost five dollars), it was to waste on asking someone to be a certain way.
I’m a parent now and that is all I ever ask for from my kids.
My mother’s request was met with equal disdain. Anything is a cop out. Of course what my mother meant was that anything I gave her would have been received with joy and gratitude. She was usually half in the bag on Christmas morning and she had no short term memory due to her stroke, so she couldn’t remember what I gave her anyway.
As a parent I also understand anything because when asked, and it is clear I won’t be getting to be good, anything is the next best thing.
But kids don’t understand this concept of gifts that can’t be unwrapped. They want to give something tangible. So here is my list of the top five Christmas Gifts.
The poor Chia Pet lands on the worst Christmas gift list every year and I can’t understand why because I would absolutely love to get a Chia Pet for Christmas. I would never dream of spending $14.99 on one of them for myself but if someone got me the Obama Chia Pet I would be in heaven. He might not be able to grow our economy but he sure can grow Chia Hair. My kids don’t believe me when I tell them I want this, they think I am joking. I don’t know why.
If I ever got one of these bad boys I would be so happy I would cry. I would not eventually use it as a very expensive paper weight like most sales people at Best Buy will tell you it eventually gets used for. I would use it for everything but most importantly I could use it in the bathroom, the only room in the house I ever get left alone. I might actually get some work done if I had an iPad. My kids can’t afford this gift and if they could I would search their room for contraband and start charging them rent.
Not as expensive as an iPad, and I wouldn’t have to search their room because one of my children has a job and makes enough to buy a Kindle when he isn’t buying gloves with lights on the fingers but probably not likely because if we had one of these he wouldn’t have to send me on a wild goose chase to find the book he needs three days before the paper is due, when every other parent is out searching for the same book. There isn’t any fun in that. It would also give me great satisfaction to be able to avoid both Barnes & Noble and Borders, two big box bookstores that are going broke right now. Back in the 90s these two behemoths put thousands of independent bookstores out of business, mine included. Karma’s a bitch isn’t?
Since my kids can’t buy gift cards at the liquor store yet I’d settle for something from a local nail salon. A mani/pedi would be awesome. Not because I want my nails painted but because I don’t know anyone with a hot tub and putting my feet in a mini hot tub while I read a three month old copy of People sounds like heaven to me (I went to the grocery store yesterday to get some last minute things for Christmas Dinner, just a few thing, I didn’t even need a basket. I got in line behind a grandmother with a full cart who asked me if I wanted to go ahead of her. I politely declined. She understood and needlessly asked if I had kids. I take my alone time whenever I can).
I know, they aren’t approved by PETA but so what, I’m a Republican. To have one day when the mailman arrives and not have the dog bark for 15 minutes would be lovely. Alternatively they can always be dialed down a bit for the 7 year old.
*I turn 45 next month, I can officially start every story with when I was a kid and no one can say a damn thing about it.