Merry Holidays and Happy…jolly times…

“What do you want for Christmas?”

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve heard this in the past month–from my parents, my sister, extended family, friends, acquaintances, bus drivers and even some new boys in my life–but I just can’t seem to come up with an answer…at least not a satisfactory one.
“Uh, nothing really. I don’t need anything.”
The holiday inquirers were none too pleased with this response.
“What? It’s not what you NEED. What do you WANT. There has to be SOMETHING,” they would prod.
After thinking, mulling, browsing the Internet, and racking my brain I STILL have yet to come up with an answer.
I really don’t want anything. Is that weird?
I remember the days of my youth when I would rush to the Toys R Us advertisement in the Sunday paper and anxiously circle all the “cool new stuff” I wanted from the big man in red. I would scrawl my list to Santa in my best penmanship and even draw him a picture of what I wanted (in case he forgot):
Dear Santa,
I want an EZ Bake Oven for Christmas and a Furby. I’m sorry I wasn’t always nice to my sister…but I’ve been good in school!
Love,
Caitlin
Then there were the days of teenager-dom where Christmas consisted of giving my parents a list of all the “hip” things that teenagers were supposed to have: CDs, Woodstock performances on VHS (DVDs had yet to make a significant appearance), Clothes, “edgy” posters for my room, a lava lamp…okay maybe I was a “different” kind of teenager…but Christmas was a list of stuff. Yes, stuff. Nothing I needed just stuff I wanted to “keep up” with my “friends.”
I grew up. I learned things about the world. I exchanged my backstabbing Middle School friends for some genuine ones and then as if some maturity fairy came down in some poof of Fahrenheit I didn’t want anything anymore.
I don’t know why exactly, either. I mean I try to pay attention to world events. I donate my old textbooks to charity…I try to be considerate but I am admittedly not a proactive “dogooder.” I don’t think it’s guilt over the crappy economy either because this started WAY before George Bush royally screwed us all over…I don’t know what happened. I don’t know why I don’t want anything…
It’s more than likely because of all that I’ve been through in the past four years. There’s been the pivotal life changes of starting college, leaving home, falling in love for the first time, getting my heart broken for the first time, finding my own way to pick up the pieces, learning to deal with drama and mean people with out succumbing to their level of spite and hatred. I discovered my passion in life, I found great friends, forged new and great relationships, found my niche, found where I belong and made some pretty significant and meaningful steps in discovering who I am.
That’s why I don’t want anything. I already have it all. I have parents and a sister (who are more like my best friends) who would literally do ANYTHING for me. They’ve dealt with my anxiety attacks, my 3 a.m. phone calls, all of my shenanigans. My friends have done the same. I have a great support system. I have a job which doesn’t, even as much as I complain about it, totally suck. I have great co-workers and new friends on The Spectrum which is something I have come to love. I have a whole future in front of me–grad school, job offers, everything is all in place for me. Yes, there are some people who probably still hate me for whatever reason, but there are more people who love me, so I honestly couldn’t care less.
Right now, my roommate is wrapping Christmas gifts for her family and she’s playing one of the Rosie O’Donnell Christmas albums that I used to listen to when I was younger (they’re great, fun albums. Don’t judge!) and something just hit me–
After all (almost) 21 Christmases I’ve had I don’t remember the gifts clearly at all. I remember dancing around my living room to *NSYNC’s CD Home for Christmas. I remember listening to Rosie O’Donnell sing Christmas classics with Cher and Elmo while my sister and I curled up under the tree to stare at the lights and watch my cat try to knock the ornaments off.
I remember my Dad waking my sister and I up and being more excited about Christmas morning than we were. I remember my mom making breakfast and watching one of the new movies “Santa” brought with my whole family. I remember everyone gathering at my grandparents house to talk and eat…I remember the people, not the presents.
While those days have come and gone I do still find myself excited about Christmas but not for the gifts–for the opportunity to see my family and friends.
So you really want to get me something for Christmas? Give me a hug. Send me a card. Shoot me an email. Knowing I have a network of amazing people and friends who care about me just as much as I care about them is all I really need.
Happy holidays blogland!
And my gift to YOU is THIS. Enjoy!
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3 comments

  1. Ang · December 17, 2009

    This is absolutely awesome. I think the part I really enjoy about gifts is picking them out for other people. I like to challenge myself to not ask for ideas and find things I think they'll really like without their help.

  2. Rob Brennan · December 17, 2009

    Nice! I would agree; it's the best time of year to just enjoy those who have (and continue to) make our lives special. Begrudgingly, I try to drop a line just to say hey to those who may have fallen off the radar – but communication is a two way street =) Hope you enjoy the holidays; it's a great time of year to reflect on memories of the past as well as make new ones to treasure for years to come.

  3. Keeley · December 17, 2009

    My mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I said cold, hard cash to cover some of this grad school app cost. And I'm starting to feel like that's what they want, too."Ho ho ho! Columbia! What would YOU like for Christmas!""Um… Nate Archibald… another $100… and an ego stroke!""Heeeeere you go! Here's another check and 200 characters on why you're better than everybody else! Oh, and don't forget to watch GG… *wink*""Yaaaaayyy!!!!"

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