I’m always stumped when someone asks me what I want for Christmas (or my birthday, or whatever gift-giving occasion is at hand). For some reason it has always thrown me for a loop and I’ve never been able to put my finger on why, and I still can’t. The question will inevitably be asked and I will be perplexed and then feel as if I must be an alien because of the way they are squinting at me. I imagine they are thinking “Geeze, she must want something really expensive. I shouldn’t have asked!”
Well, the truth of it is that I absolutely don’t know what I want as a gift from someone. And honestly, I would rather know what they would pick out for me without direction. So, what is the proper answer to their question? Should I say “Just pick something out,” and leave them with the burden of wondering rather or not I will like it (I will), or should I say “A gift card to the mall,” which is my standard response? It’s hard to say.
One of my favorite Christmas presents I ever got was when I was 16, my beloved grandma gave me a wooden snowglobe with a white unicorn inside. I don’t remember what tune the globe played, I would have to bring it down from its high shelf to check. But, what I loved about that gift was that it was simple yet magical and completely unexpected. She happened to see it and she knew that I was still young enough to like it, yet old enough to appreciate the meaning behind it. She saw “me” in it, and that is why it is so special to me. It was certainly not the most expensive present I’ve ever gotten, and to be truthful I don’t even recall what was the most expensive present I’ve gotten.
For a few years I got to where I would actually carry around a little list in my purse and when I thought of something that I might want, I would jot it down so that I wouldn’t meet the “question” with a deer-in-the-headlights stare. But, it felt wrong to keep a list. It felt selfish. I stopped.
So, in case you ever wonder what I might want for Christmas, here is the answer: I want something from your heart with meaning. Give me a unicorn snowglobe with the sentiment that I am loved and that you truly “see” me and who I am.