No list this Christmas


Over the last 19 years, I’ve asked for a lot of things for Christmas.

When I was four, I asked for a Cabbage Patch Doll and one of those Lite-Bright machines that lit up in neon colors when you plugged it in.

At age six, I begged the shopping mall Santa Claus for a purple Barbie doll convertible with a remote control, so I could drive my Ken doll off the steps whenever he made Barbie mad.

When I was eight years old, the only thing I really wanted was a blue Tamagotchi and a set or two of those miniature Polly Pockets.

Once I turned 10, I thought I was over getting toys for Christmas, but Santa brought my sister a gray Furby, and she named it some cluster of syllables that only she could pronounce.

When I hit high school I started asking for money and gift cards-there are only so many hand-knitted sweaters a girl can pretend to like until the smile just isn’t convincible anymore.

To this day I can still remember how it felt to wake up on Christmas morning and see every item on my holiday wish list sitting under the tree, but I can’t for the life of me remember what happened to all those presents.

I think I ended up shoving the Lite-Bright pellets down the throats of my Cabbage Patch dolls until my mom finally pitched them.

My dad accidentally stepped on my purple Barbie doll convertible when I left it in the living room.

He tried to save it, but the roof never went up and down automatically like it was supposed to.

Mrs. Rawson, my fifth grade teacher, probably still has my blue Tamagotchi buried away inside her desk at the elementary school.

That Furby doll my sister begged my parents for is still shoved into the back of our coat closet because I couldn’t figure out how to make it stop saying, “feed me.”

And all that money I asked for certainly did not end up in my savings account.

Now that I’m in college, I feel like I’ve run out of presents to wish for.

I think there comes a point in all our lives when we stop wishing and begging and praying for gifts and presents we don’t need and start thinking about the blessings we already have, the things we’ve already been given and don’t necessarily deserve.

I have a family who loves and supports me no matter what demons I face, no matter what decisions I make.

Throughout the last 19 years, I’ve asked them for a lot of things for Christmas, but never once have I thanked them for the things they do for me every single day.

I have a sister who looks up to me, who constantly makes me strive to become a better sister, a better friend and a better person.

Throughout the last 19 years, she’s given me knickknacks, handmade ornaments and cheap last minute gifts from Wal-Mart.

I’ve thanked her for them all, but I’ve never told her how thankful I am to have her in my life.

I have friends who would stand beside me no matter what, friends who will never let me down.

And yet, I rarely thank them for this security.

Looking back now, all of my Christmas lists seem unimportant compared to the gifts I’m given every day of the year.

Over the last 19 years I’ve asked for a lot of things for Christmas, but it took me those 19 years to realize that I already had everything I’ll ever need.