So, what ever you celebrate, you'll probably be getting some kind of gift or gifts this year. Heck, you're probably unwrapping them as I write this. And good on ya. I love unwrapping presents. It makes me feel strong and powerful to strip pretty flesh from boxes and strew it around my like shrapnel at a caveman dinner. It's very satisfying.
And the gifts! Oh, it's the iPhone 4S I've been wanting! And no way! The next installment of that wizard movie! My epic collection is complete. Oh, and look, there are seven more with my name on it. Woohoo! I've gotten everything I've asked for on the list I covertly taped to my parents' and friends' bathroom mirrors!
Ok, that last bit was a fib. I haven't written out a wish list in almost a decade. If I want something for Christmas I buy it myself and put a friend's name on the tag just to save all that trouble. Nowadays the perfect gift is going out for a beer and eating free food at the rents. I don't have the patience to wait all year to buy though snazzy new electronics. I buy them when I want them.
But this year - for obvious reasons - is a very different year. I did end up writing a wish list for Santa, but I wasn't going to at first. I was compelled though after watching countless commercial after commercial about buying the hottest new car, the smelliest new cologne, the sexiest new clothes, and the most efficient new smart phone that can win the National and International Spelling Bees (with only numbers!).
Sitting in the hospital - the oncology unit more specifically - is probably the most depressing, heartbreaking place to be during the holidays. If you know a more depressing place, please let me know and we'll exchange stories. I'm always up for a laugh. Seriously.
So, sitting here, I realized that I didn't want any of that crap they were pushing on TV or any of the material things that I thought I would ever need or even have now. Here's my list for Santa this year: (Keep in mind that I'm 25, not 80 - though that's debatable at the moment...)
1. To take a decent crap.
2. To feel hungry and to be able to sate that hunger just enough.
3. To be able to taste my Christmas dinner.
4. To take a drink of water and not have it taste like ash.
5. To be able to walk up a half a flight of stairs.
6. To be able to stand while brushing my teeth, and not getting winded afterward.
7. To be home for Christmas.
8. To be with my family and friends.
9. To be petted.
10. To not have leukemia.
If your wish list for Santa was anything like this, come on down to the oncology unit and we'll hang. Or, you might already be in an oncology unit, so I'm with you in spirit.
But here's the thing: if you asked for anything other than these things this year, I'm thinking you're in pretty good shape. So here's my gift to you, world. If you're feeling crappy about your gifts or disappointed about something in your life - a girl dumped you, you stubbed your toe, your GPS made you take the long route to K-Mart - just have another read. Check out what I asked Santa for this year, think about what things you were looking forward to this years, and maybe you'll find your day going just a little better.
Disclaimer: This post was not meant to sound bitter or snide (ok, maybe it did. I'm in the freaking hospital with cancer on freaking Christmas. Come on.). What I hope is that people can read this and see that there's much more than toys and electronics and knick knacks for Christmas. It doesn't apply to Christmas, but to every day. Seriously, use me.
If ever you have a day where you're like, "Wow, this sucks." I give you full permission to add, "But not nearly as much as having cancer on Christmas."
So, actually, I think I'll add one more to my wish list:
11. To make one stranger feel just a little happier, even if just for a moment.
I hope I can do that for you today and any day. A little happiness goes a long way.
(Although, a decent pooh would also be good.)
MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND ALL THAT JAZZ!