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December 19, 2014

All I Want for Christmas Is……….

Joe Charlebois

I never understood why my parents – my father in particular – would always say “I don’t need anything” when I would ask what they wanted for Christmas. I find myself saying the same thing to my wife and children when they ask the same question of me now.


Just like most, there are several things I “want” for Christmas – or anytime of the year for that matter, but what do I “need” – nothing. In fact, if I sat and watched my teenage children open presents on Christmas morning and the only thing I opened in the morning was the oven to pull out my wife’s quiche Lorraine and cinnamon rolls, I would be happy.


I will enjoy plopping down on the sectional couch sitting back and taking in the atmosphere that is Christmas morning. As the children start to pull out the stack of presents and pass them around, I will sit back and enjoy the lights that trim the somewhat lopsided Douglas fir. I’ll admire its elegance as it casts alternating light and shadow on the crimson walls of the family room.


I will gaze around the room as everyone settles into their routine places near the tree and fireplace. Above the fireplace that takes away the chill of the late December morn, I’ll admire how the normally bland mantle is able to spruce up the room with its evergreen and pinecone garland. The garland is home to the brass reindeer stocking hangers that hold the family’s traditional tartan plaid stockings “with care.”


To the right of the fireplace is an old upright “grand” piano that we inherited from my wife’s maternal grandmother. According to a sticker, it was once serviced by a tuner in 1903. The piano, which is decorated with greens and rustic lanterns, adds a little more traditional feel to the season. Instead of being a focal point to gather and sing Christmas carols around, it is regrettably little more than a destination for seasonal decorations. If all I received on Christmas was the ability to take all of this tradition in, it would be enough.


If all I could get were the sweet smells of cinnamon and brown sugar melding together to create the perfect cinnamon rolls, or the smell of bacon, Swiss cheese and cooked onions from a freshly baked quiche wafting through the Christmas morning air, that would be enough.


Watching the children exchange gifts that they have shopped for themselves (with their own money) is getting better every year. Watching the dog romp through the wrapping paper and lay down in the middle of it all to chew on a brand new rawhide is enough.


I admit that I have a full wardrobe; I have most of the latest gadgets, so all I really want is to enjoy the magic of the day in the company of my family.


This year is no different; our family is blessed to be able to still spend Christmas Eve with my wife’s parents and Christmas dinner with my family. I know it won’t be too many years before our children will be striking out on their own and starting their own traditions; but, for now, I’ll hold onto these memories. “I don’t need anything” That’s all I want.


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