By Sam Terry
Jobe Publishing, Inc.
‘Tis the season for Christmas list-making. For those of us who organize our days and weeks by lists, there are many to be made: gifts to purchase, decorating to be completed, gatherings to plan, and for the younger crowd the famous list of wishes for Santa’s consideration.
Lists of Christmas wishes have a way of evolving over time as the list-maker moves through life and after more than five decades of experience, the differences are quite noticeable. I don’t recall what treasures I had been dreaming of in the accompanying photo of my 1970 visit to Santa at Horse Cave State Bank. Whatever it might have been, I recall that Santa never failed to deliver just the right items.
A couple of years prior to this visit, I found there were so many delightful options in the Sears & Roebuck Christmas Wish Book, I carried the catalogue along with me to show Santa exactly what I had in mind. The review apparently became rather long-winded as I turned the dog-eared page after page, so much that Santa’s knee got tired and bank tellers and customers paused to witness the presentation.
One year, the dreamed of item was a small version of a workbench complete with working hand-tools (it still lives in my parents’ basement), another year it was a View-Master that brought hours of pleasure, and yet another year it was my first camera. A still-treasured wish list item received was a snow sled Santa thought I would enjoy. The teen years saw more sophisticated items on the Christmas wish list, a trend that continued to progress through college when practical things like typewriters, coffeepots, and winter coats topped the list. Inevitably, Santa managed to find gifts that were desired, items that were needed, and occasionally something I was certain was intended for someone else and received by mistake.
As a young adult, the Christmas wish list evolved again to include more down-to-earth things for a person living independently and setting up a household. Some years, it was simpler to suggest Santa bring money to buy things I personally selected rather than leaving things to chance.
Still moving forward, one reaches a level of maturity that shortens the Christmas wish list as it evolves once again and focuses on what one can give to others. There’s something extraordinary about realizing that one of the greatest joys of Christmas is what we can give rather than receive.
About the time one embraces the joy of giving, you realize that your own wish list has grown shorter as the years have passed. We now live in a world that offers us the ability to more easily purchase the things we need as well as the things we want. Sometimes it’s hard to think of material things you wish for at Christmas.
The wish list evolves yet again when you realize that your list is short and the things you yearn for aren’t things that anyone can purchase. The things one truly wishes for can’t be wrapped in brightly colored paper and festooned with ribbons and bows, or even put under a tree.
So, my wish for you this Christmas is not for trinkets, baubles, sweaters or some trendy item. My wish is for you is a happy holiday surrounded by those you love and who love you for that’s the best Christmas gift of all.