2012-11-29 / Viewpoint

The VIEW from here

Ghosts of Christmas Lists Past


Jacob Hunsanger — Community Editor Jacob Hunsanger — Community Editor I t’s funny how some things never change at all, while other things change no matter how hard we try to keep them the same. That sentiment may be true of life in general, in some sort of profound way, but I am specifically referring to something of the greatest importance — Christmas lists.

Every young child makes a Christmas list. Most of us probably got out a sheet of notebook paper and a wide marker to write down in scribbled letters all of the wonderful new toys we wanted Old Saint Nick to drop off on Christmas morning. That list would then be stuck on the refrigerator all the way to Christmas Eve.

If the kid was really into organization, like my brother the auditor, the items on the list would be numbered in order of importance — thereby giving the parents a little extra help when trying to pick out the best possible gift.

Other kids didn’t make physical lists, but simply memorized all of the things they wanted for Christmas and recited that list to mom and dad over, and over, and over... and over again.

Personally, I took both strategies and ran with them. I figured by parents would appreciate the extra reminders each day. You’re welcome.

The best way of figuring out what Christmas gifts you wanted as a kid came in the mail each November in the form of holiday catalogues. That phone book sized catalogue would thump itself down on the kitchen table around Thanksgiving each year and my brother and I would fight over who got to look at it first. Obviously we skipped right to the back where all the toys were. The reason it was so great was because there was a picture of each individual toy being sold, many of which we had never seen on the selves at the local stores. We would each have a different color marker and, after clearly signifying which color coincided with which child, we would just draw a big circle around the best of the best in that catalogue. What never changes is the excitement that Christmas brings with it — both trying to figure out what you might like for Christmas and in picking out all those perfect gifts to give your friends, family and loved ones. Is there anyone who doesn’t sit up for just a few minutes on Christmas Eve trying to fight back the excitement that the next morning will surely bring? I know I do. Every Christmas Eve I have my glass of egg nog, brush my teeth and crawl into bed. A watchful eye would see a hug smile on my face just moments before drifting off to sleep.

What does change, on the other hand, is what to expect when ripping the wrapping paper off gifts on

Christmas morning. We go from getting the latest and greatest G.I. Joe and Nerf gun to getting socks, office supplies and the occasional piece of (albeit whimsical) dinnerware.

I love neckties and sweaters as much as anyone possibly could, but it’s still not the same as when you were a child. The moment you know you’re getting old is when you write the list of items that you do not want for Christmas. Many fathers eventually break down and ask to no longer receive goofball neckties from each of the kids. Mothers or wives beg not to be given another blender or vacuum, as useful as that may be. For me, it’s luggage.

For three years in a row, I got a piece of luggage from my parents after coming home from college. Three large pieces of luggage. Three years in a row.

Golly, you would think they were trying to say something with all that luggage.

Whatever you are asking for this Christmas, do everyone a favor and write it down with a big marker. Try to find out exactly what fun, non-practical item your significant other really wants. Get something odd, funny or just plain unique. Whatever you do, don’t buy your children luggage.

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