And just like that, in the blink of an eye and a wiggle of the nose, we’re a mere ten days away from Christmas. I think I’ve got most (all?) of my holiday shopping done already, so that’s at least one monkey off my back for the time being. Even so, it got me thinking about what I want most for Christmas and it’s not at all like what I’ve asked for in the past.

“It’s Only Money”

When we were kids, we really weren’t able to buy things for ourselves. As a result, our wish lists would inevitably consist of various things. We’d want the hottest toy of the season. We’d want the newest video game. This should surprise no one.

As adults, we can be just as materialistic, it’s true. We want a bigger big screen TV in the living room. We want the fanciest smartphone available with the “bigger gee-bees” and a free case. Some of these things are certainly more affordable and more within reach than others. It doesn’t feel totally unreasonable to ask for a Bluetooth speaker, but it’s probably not as realistic to ask for a new Tesla Roadster (which you wouldn’t receive for at least a couple of years anyhow).

All this being said, now that we’re grown-ups (or at least we play them on the Internet), it’s not about the money anymore. Not really. So long as we remain within reason, we can save up the cash to buy these things for ourselves. If I really want that new phone, I don’t have to wait for someone else to get it for me. I just need to justify the purchase to myself, weighing it against all my other “adult” responsibilities and obligations.

“It’s only money,” as they say.

An Unreasonable Request

Do I want a new video game, a new phone or a new computer for Christmas? While I certainly wouldn’t turn any of those down, or anything else on my wish list, they’re just things. And, for the most part, they are just things that I could conceivably buy for myself. That’s not the point.

This is going to sound awfully selfish and, truth be told, I feel horribly guilty for even thinking it. What I really want for Christmas is some time for myself, by myself, away from all the stress and pressure and anxiety. I want to have, say, a weekend on my own.

It’s not like I want to escape to cabin in the woods where I completely disconnect from society altogether, per se. I don’t want to unplug from the matrix entirely, because what I want is some guilt-free time to play some video games and watch some movies on Netflix… and that requires the Internet.

If I were to pull a few strings and make some arrangements, I could conceivably book some sort of solitary retreat, either within or outside of the city. That’s not really the problem, because I’d still be saddled with that horrible sense of guilt. I’d feel like I was being far too selfish, whether or not it’s actually the case.

And then, on top of all of this, the things that I want the most for Christmas are largely intangible. I want more people to read and enjoy my book on fatherhood. I want more people to watch and enjoy the vlog every week. But these aren’t exactly the kinds of things that can be found under a Christmas tree or delivered by Amazon Prime… so, I guess I’ll settle for a copy of Super Mario Odyssey or something.