Before there was Amazon, before there was Toys”R”Us, Ebay or Target there was Sears. Sometime around the first of November the Sears Wish Book would arrive in the mail and the eight year old me knew that Santa was close.
The Sears Wish Book was Santa’s helper, a catalog of everything Santa’s elves were making up in the North Pole. My siblings and I studied every inch of that catalog, folding pages, and ripping pages out to make our list for Christmas. Access to this publication was a serious business, so serious that my Mother would have to create a chart that would indicate whose turn it was to get the book. When it was my time I would take it to bed with me at night and scan the pages under the covers with a flashlight until my Dad yelled at me to go to sleep.
My Santa’s list strategy was simple, shoot for the moon and then work my way down. At the top of the list, the most expensive long shots possible, a mini-bike, a go-cart or maybe a pony. From that vantage point I worked down to more realistic dreams, a science kit, a train set, or a slot-car track. Then to the safe bets, GI Joes, board games, socks. I always made a long list of big hopes and dreams. I am sure there were a few disappoints, but I only remember the magic and the innocence of those Christmas mornings now.
The internet has changed many aspects of our lives and certainly it has changed the way we shop for Christmas. I was in Sears this weekend to buy a tool and honestly I am not sure they even have a toy department any longer let alone a Wish Book. Walking around the store my first thought was Sears isn’t long for this world. There was no holiday magic, no excitement, and no Santa.
At fifty-five I don’t need a GI Joe action figure or Rock’em Sock’em Robots. My list for Santa this year is pretty short but certainly a little more complicated;
- Health– All the money in the world can’t buy us health. Make your health a priority in 2017.
- Happiness– Happiness if very subjective. What makes me happy may not make you happy. May we each find that one thing in our life that brings us happiness.
- Hope– For me life without hope isn’t a life at all. Hope is the light we all strive for. Hope is what carries us onward when health and happiness elude us.
- Peace– My gut tells me that 2017 may be a difficult year for peace. We have elected a bull in a china shop who has surround himself with self-serving, egocentric people much like himself. I don’t sense a lot of compassion oozing out of his cabinet picks.
- Charity– Each of us has the capacity for offering charity to others. It’s not just money, it is also time, time to listen, time to comfort, and time to act. In 2017 remember that we need each other. You never know, the charity you offer today is the charity you may need to accept tomorrow.
I hope that each and every one of you have a safe and happy Holiday. Please know that I thank you for reading my post over these last ten months, the encouraging words you have offered me, your viewpoints and your thoughts. Until 2017, peace and blessings to each of you.
“Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.” – Henri Nouwen