Before we get started, let me just say that I’ve always had conflicted feelings about your public image. Obviously, the benevolent elf who gives to the good, especially those in need, inspires all the warm fuzzies. The all-seeing, all-judging CIA spook freaks out my libertarian sensibilities. However, in general, I’m really glad that you exist to bring a little magic, happiness, and an atmosphere of kindness during at least one month of the year.
So, now let me tell exactly how wonderful I’ve been this year. My business is small, kind to other small businesses and exists to bring joy (to my customers AND myself). I make beauty for a living. I like to think that I’m an excellent daughter, loyal friend, and a congenial stranger. I’m always kind to those in customer service, even if I’ve been on hold for an hour and half and my call was dropped three times. I don’t swear as much as I could. I don’t cut people off in traffic and I don’t even offer a California howdy to those who do not return that road courtesy to me. I pay my taxes and give to charities and I volunteer (but yeah, not as much as I should, so I’m not gonna blow that last one out of proportion).
All that to say, I have some demands/requests/desires, if you are so inclined to fill them based on the CV I have listed above.
I’d like to say I want world peace, kindness to all men, a cure to cancer, or something more globally important. But what I really want is super selfish because it affects only my personal sphere of existence.
- I want my mom to not be sick anymore. I don’t want her to continue to decline, either by tiny, almost unnoticeable shifts or by massive landslides. I don’t want to watch her mourn the loss of her body. I don’t want to watch the loss of her memories and mind.
- I want my sister’s chronic pain to be understood and cured.
- I want my business to succeed…more. I want to support myself and my family and those in need and afflicted.
- I want to be free from mental illness. Because I sleep enough and pray enough and eat the right things and exercise. That ought to count as my Get Out of Jail Free card.
- I want my dad to be happy and hopeful instead of tired. He’s a hard worker and amazing at his job and he loves fixing problems and helping people, but everyone reaches the end of their resources.
But you can’t give me those things. So instead, I’ll ask for the more socially acceptable material things. Like a laptop and clothes and cute accessories and chocolates…Anything to help distract from the real problems and real pains and real desires.
This isn’t a bandwagon against materialism. Or saying that physical things aren’t fun or necessary (I really do need a new laptop). I love getting gifts and I’m really glad that we have a holiday that is based on the giving of gifts.
But Santa, you distract me from the only gift that matters. And I can’t afford to be distracted. I’m drowning, even in my good girl deeds. One day, my Savior is going to grant all those things on my list. It’s probably not this year. But it’s going to happen. And so is the cure for cancer and world peace.
So I guess what I really want, Santa, is the reminder that the gifts I see as trivial and bland aren’t ever supposed to be a substitute for what I really want. They’re down payments on future kindnesses. They’re physical reminders of love and respect and community. I want to remember that I’m not alone, that there is hope, that everything will eventually be put right.
And if you choose to send a laptop, I won’t be all jaded about it. Thank you.
Thank you for listening.
Thank you for being a reminder, not just a distraction.
Thank you for championing the necessity of gift giving.