I do know what I want someone to give me for Christmas. I’ve known since I was forty years old. Wind-up mechanical toys that make noises and go round and round and do funny things. No batteries. Toys that need me to help them out from time to time. The old-fashioned painted tin ones I had as a child. That’s what I want, I tell you.
Well, okay, that’s close, but not quite exactly it. It’s delight and simplicity that’s I want. Foolishness and fantasy and noise. Angels and miracles and wonder and innocence and magic. That’s closer to what I want.
It’s harder to talk about, but what I really, really, really, want for Christmas is just this:
I want to be five years old again for an hour.
I want to laugh a lot and cry a lot
I want to be picked up and rocked to sleep in someone’s arms, and carried up to bed just one more time.
I know what I really want for Christmas.
I want my childhood back.
Nobody is going to give me that. I might give at least the memory of it to myself if I try. I know it doesn’t make any sense, but when does Christmas make any sense, anyway? It is about a child, of long ago and far away, and it is about the child of now. In you and me. Waiting behind the door of our hearts for something wonderful to happen. A child who is impractical, unrealistic, simpleminded, and terribly vulnerable to joy. A child who does not need or want or understand gifts of socks or potholders.
All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten