One of the most often asked questions this time of the year is one that I don’t have a good answer for.
“What do you want from Christmas?”
Lots of family members and friends have asked me that question over the last few weeks. The truth is, I don’t really want anything for Christmas. I don’t need anything, unless you happen to have a winning Powerball ticket you’re willing to gift me.
When I was a kid, answering that question was easy. The answer was usually some combination of bicycles, model trains, books, toy cars and games.
One of the most exciting times before Christmas was the arrival of the Sears Roebuck Co. Wish Book, which was a giant catalog with page after page of every manner of toy and game imaginable. It was as if Santa Claus himself had put out a catalog.
I don’t recall whether the Wish Book included clothes because no kid in his right mind is going to ask for a shirt for Christmas when there’s a Big Wheel on page 132.
My brother Marvin and I used to take the Wish Book and circle all the items that we wanted for Christmas. Of course, it would have been easier for us to just circle the few items we didn’t want, but we were young and not really interested in being efficient.
But these days, there’s nothing that I really want and nothing that I really need. I’m very fortunate. I have the things I need to lead a comfortable life. I have great family and friends. I have a job I love.
Still, I get asked, “What do you want for Christmas?” So, after much thought, here are a few things I’d like to find under my Christmas tree this year.
- A date with Sandra Bullock. If that can’t be arranged, I’d be willing to settle for a date with either Reese Witherspoon or Sophia Bush.
- My own tropical island. I’m always a little jealous when I read about some rich person who has bought his or her own island. I think having an island of my own would be great fun. I could make all the rules for my little kingdom, and it would be a great way to avoid folks who annoy me.
- A vehicle like George Jetson had. When I was a kid watching “The Jetsons,” I always assumed that by the time I got to be my age now, we’d all be zipping around in the air in one of these vehicles instead of being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-85. Besides, how else am I going to get to my tropical island?
- I don’t want to leave Milly, the black and white springer spaniel who lives at my house, out of the Christmas spirit. The Saks Fifth Avenue catalog – I don’t get a copy of it; I read about it in a news story – is offering a cashmere pet bed for the bargain-basement price of $499.
- World peace. It always seems like such a good idea when all the beauty contestants ask for it.
- Tickets to any sporting events that I want to attend. Don’t bother with hockey tickets, though.
- Did I mention a date with Sandra Bullock?
- Did I mention a winning Powerball ticket?
- And finally, a year’s worth of column ideas. That might be the best gift ever.