With two exceptions that occurred many years ago, I love Christmas. I love giving gifts, baking cookies, dropping off little christmas tree cakes to my neighbors, smelling evergreen pine all around me, our Christmas eve tradition with Mike and Clara and Dani and the most precious sleepover here with Jess and Mike. I love the thought that goes into my Christmas stocking, the same Christmas morning breakfast we have had for 25 years, our holiday party when we invite everyone we know from all walks of life. I love the fact that sooner or later I will slow down and realize I am very lucky.
I can tell you what I don't love in just a few words: i hate shopping at malls, I hate packing and mailing all the presents that must go to Colorado Springs and Seattle and Tucson. I hate that I fight the clock to find any semblance of rhythm and slowing down. I hate that the world is so violent. I hate that any child wakes up on Christmas morning without loving parents and presents under a tree.
Here's my holiday list. I hope I get everything I need.
1. Baby Ryan: I hope you come into the world perfect in every way. I know your parents will feel love they cannot even imagine as soon as they see and smell you. I am planning breakfast menus of m & m's and ice cream for when you are older.
2. I hope a publisher picks up this novel I have just finished and I am paid a sufficient advance so I can get it written to an A or A- level within 3-4 months.
3. I hope Ces and I do more words and colors together.
4. Godess Santa: could you help me figure out the role of money in our lives? I know we're not waiting for some far away future to live our lives and live generously but can I really believe in abundance? And do I need to supplement my writing with a day job?
5. I hope jb shines the nightlight in the magic cottage exactly the way she wants to and I will be lucky enough to see and swoon over her fantastic artwork.
6. May I (finally) decide if the tough-love approach of my book agent is good for me or move on and out to someone else who understands I am more delicate than meets the eye.
7. Sign me up for a photography course.
8. I pray the Iraqi people are given the support they need to rebuild their country and live in peace, after my country destroyed their homeland for all the wrong reasons.
9. Please transport me to Weight Watchers and Pilates and get me in shape for once and for all. In my heart, I am too cute to be anything but.
10. Protect my family and friends from anyone and anything that does not help them prosper.
11. I hope for a personal shopper who will stack my closet with the coolest most fashionable clothes.
12. Godess Santa: I would also like someone nearby who can play the guitar so I can host an occasional sing a-long in my living room.
13. I want a flow, a rhythm, a guiding force that helps me live without so many jolts and jagged edges. I don't expect this all the time but I'll be thankful for a little predictable rhythm that governs my days.
And how about you? I'd love to see your holiday list. The singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter says,
"It's too much to expect, but it's not too much to ask"