Am I un-American or anti-religious when I tell you something I’ve been trying to say for years, but have been afraid of hurting your feelings?
I want nothing for Christmas!
There. I got it off my chest and hope you don’t hold it against me. I don’t want to spoil your holiday festivities or sound like some Grinch. But, I simply can’t think of anything I want to find tucked under tree branches Christmas morning.
I’m not opposed to gift-giving. I plan to help fulfill some of the “dreams” my family has for making themselves feel good: new clothes, the latest electronic gadgets and books. I’ll get them fat on chocolates; dose them with heavenly scented perfumes and after-shaves, while opening their eyes and ears to their sought-after DVD movie and/or musical CD.
But don’t ask me to “want” something, to “desire” something. I’ve been working on cutting back on wants and desires all year-long, and now you want to know what can make me happy. Other than peace in the world and more willingness to give and take by our political parties to help nations everywhere, I really don’t want anything.
Oh, I’ll submit a “wish list” of things I think will make you happy in providing them for me. Get me some Mexican Hats, you know, the forerunner of the Gummy candy. Throw in some Red Hot Dollars, another candy from my childhood that I could not quite give up when becoming an adult.
I’ll write down a slew of books, but will accept them only if they are “used.” I don’t want the newest one from the New York Times best-sellers list. Heck, I wouldn’t even know any of those titles anyway. Most of the books on my list will be like those I’ve been reading all year-long to help me grow less attached to things.
I’ve been trying to detach myself from things I thought were important in life, but have learned that not only could I do without them, I was better off not even “thinking” about them.
I don’t look at advertisements in magazines. When I watch a sports or talk-show television program, I mute and turn my head away from the four or five 30-second commercials during the station break. I don’t feel a bit slighted by being uninformed about that “buy-me now” world bombarding me and you and the rest of our viewing society.
I’ve been successful in some things, but I know I could easily fall back to my old self that believed the more I could gain, the happier I’d be. I’d have treasures of new things up the ying-yang. I’d be thrilled for a while. But every last one would lose its happiness quotient in time. They had no staying power. They offered me nothing but hollow hope that was enticing at first, but so unfulfilling in the long run.
So, I’ll smile when we exchange gifts and try to make you feel good about making me feel good. I would rather prefer you truly give of yourself — openly and honestly — and, as God is my witness, I promise you that they’re gifts that I will never seek to return.