All I want for Christmas is . . .

Categories: Editorial

Time’s a-wastin’ – better read this tongue-in-cheek pre-Christmas message now

Dec. 6, 2013, edition
By Bob Zyskowski

No one, as yet, has asked for my Christmas list.

Black Friday has come and gone.

Small Business Saturday has past.

Even Cyber Monday was over as the clock ticked past 11:59 p.m. into plain old Tuesday this week, and still no request for ideas for what to put under the tree for me.

I’ve checked the text messages, and I don’t think I missed any voice mails.

What with the alleged short Christmas buying season the merchants are moaning about, I’m sure you can sympathize with me.

The fact is there are only so many shopping days between now and Christmas Eve, and I’m concerned that folks will wait until the last minute — again — to remember they haven’t a gift for you-know-who. At that point, to quote more than one of those with whom I have shared, no, provided both name and shelter, “all the good stuff will have been picked over.”

I, however, have only myself to blame.

Don’t listen to them

You are apt to hear a rejoinder from the peanut gallery — those of you of a certain age will remember that phrase fondly — that when asked what I want for Christmas I regularly respond, “Don’t buy me anything. I have everything I need, and if I need something else I’ll go buy it myself.”

This is simply their alibi.

What was I supposed to do, fall back on the response my poor, harried mother gave to us when my four sisters and I were kids: “All I want for Christmas are good children.”

My own well-educated crew — and I saved copies of the Catholic school tuition bills to prove it — ought to see right through such a lightly veiled attempt at passive aggressiveness.

Of course I want a Christmas gift!

But surprise me.

Show me you’ve put some thought into a gift that will warm my heart, lift my spirits, give me joy for years to come.

Don’t simply ask me what my sizes are.

This should have happened weeks if not months ago, but the wise person will mine the musing of their loved one for the perfect Christmas gift.

They will engage them in conversation, say, in the autumn as they help the old man rake the leaves or when they clean out his gutters while he holds the ladder for them (not the other way around).

Use your resources

Leading questions about plans for the coming year or beyond might yield fruitful tips about what would make a wonderful present, something appropriate, welcome, even cherished.

In this age of social media one can easily comb another’s Facebook and Twitter entries for additional insight into another’s interests. Pinterest, too, will show what tickles their fancy, what rocks their world, what floats their boat, what — okay, I’ll stop.

By now the attentive reader may have detected that this is less an editorial and more of an open letter to four adult children, all who have jobs and sources of income, I might point out.

My hope is that, like you, they will have figured this out.