In a recent email, my one and only granddaughter asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I replied that the health and happiness of my family and peace in the world would be the greatest gifts I could ever receive on this special holiday. She shot back a second time. "No, Grammy, I meant what 'real' presents were you hoping for this Christmas?"
Now granted Brenna is only eight years old. Her idea of 'real' is formulated from what we've taught her over the years. Rattles, blocks, pull-along toys were her first 'real' gifts Then came Barbies, a doll house, Candyland and such. Last year she and her brother received the Wii and several games to go with it. And this Christmas, Brenna will be opening a point and shot camera, earrings from Greece, and the hands-on version of the internet's Bejeweled.
I'm not surprised at all by what 'real' means to an eight year old. I'm sixty-nine. I have no need for any material gifts. Don't get me wrong, whatever my family generously affords me will be certainly appreciated. But, as I sit in my living room and gaze at the sparkling tree, the blazing fire, and my furry companion, Shadow, I feel completely at peace. I'm in good health as is my hubby; we don't have a mortgage, our bills are paid, and we can come and go as we please. All is well here.
Hence, my wish for my family and everybody in this world is the same peace, health and happiness that my husband and I hold dear. To me, these are the 'real' gifts every person longs for. Perhaps until they realize that these are the 'real' presents needed to satisfy their hungry souls, all will continue to experience the let-down that inevitably follows Christmas Day.
Not to worry though. As you grow older, material things will matter less and less. And one day they won't matter at all.
Peace, Health, and Happiness. I wish you well.