Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Kind of Christmas List

Royalty-free Stock Photo: Childs letter to Santa Claus
photo credit
Every year my girls write a  letter to Santa, fold it into an envelope labeled The North Pole, put a stamp on it, and walk it to the mailbox. Watching this ritual unfold is one of my all-time favorite traditions. I love listening to them toss around ideas and brainstorm aloud as they compose their list. Do you remember your life during those magical years when anything was possible? I never expected to receive everything on my list, my parents warned us about the fate of greedy children, but I knew that whatever Christmas was that year, it would be wonderful. Looking back I understand that we had years of plenty and years when my parents stretched to bring Christmas to so many kids, but in my little girl's view it was always magical. And watching my own children write their Christmas list I can actually see on their face how possibility and imagination expand the soul!

I recently received an email from my sister with a copy of my niece's Christmas list. Please keep in mind that she drafted this entire list on the spot, without thinking it over ahead of time:

  • Superpowers
  • Hello Kitty: slippers, robe, pjs, hat, watch, underwear, socks, cup, bag, or water bottle
  • New toys (anything really)
  • A pillow pet (preferably a pig but it doesn't have to be)
  • Fluffy blankie to comfort me
  • Pacifier to suck on
  • Copying machine
  • iPhone 4
  • iPad
  • Littlest Pet Shop stuff
  • Pet Bird (preferably a cardinal because it's the Ohio state bird)
  • My own box of Cheezits
  • Elf characters from Toys R Us

As a side note, my sister's family has never lived in or near Ohio, or even visited that particular state. But I googled it and the cardinal is indeed the Ohio state bird. We're not sure how to explain that one, but don't you love the creativity and innocence of this list? It takes me back to that place where superpowers and Cheezits can live side-by-side as equally desirable goals. I think pop culture and commercialism often succeed in directing the traffic of children's imagination into specific lanes. Whatever toy or electronic is in vogue, whatever is new, becomes the coveted gift. I'm not standing angry on a soapbox railing against this trend, but it's nice to see something fresh and original once in a while. Like a little girl hoping for a copying machine. 

This year I'm thinking of drafting my own Christmas list alongside my girls. Maybe if they see me writing down things like a white Christmas or a humane electric shock collar for a wandering two year old it will inspire their imagination. Alongside the requests for dolls and Wii games I hope to find some surprises. There is a narrow window of time in which children have the privilege to believe that anything is possible and I hope to draw that out as long as I can. 

What are some of the best Christmas List requests you've come across? 


  1. This post took me right back to my childhood and made me excited to start our Christmas lists for this year. Think I could get some superpowers this year?

  2. so, after reading this.. i quizzed Stella as to what she would put on her list. can you say

    b o r i n g??

    1. make up
    2. barbie doll
    3. tangled will game
    4. new clothes

    clearly my kids need a little more imagination :)

  3. I'm totally putting super powers on my Christmas list. Who needs anything else?

  4. you can borrow diego's "shock" collar. my 3 year old nephew insisted that we try it on his hand (on a low setting) and proclaimed that it didn't hurt at all. it has 10 levels so feel free to experiment. it hasn't been used in a year and could use a good workout.


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