When I was younger and I heard adults say they wanted non-material things for Christmas I was dumbfounded.
Who would rather go for a walk in the woods with their family than get a new Barbie head whose hair you could style? Also, the idea that giving was better than receiving felt like a joke everyone was going along with until I was in 7th grade and presented my best friend with a sticking full of candy and other little trinkets. I was so excited to give it to her, I couldn’t sleep the night before.
Now as a mom, I get it. Material things mean nothing when you have children who you want to see happy. Being able to give them material and non-material things is extremely satisfying on so many levels.
But, that doesn’t mean that the moms of the world don’t want some things in return for all they do. The thing is, what we would like this holiday season can’t be purchased in a store.
6 Things This Mom Wants for Christmas From Her Teens:
- Our kids to bring down their dishes. All of them. Please don’t make me ask where all the glasses and spoons are. I know they are in your room, your backpack, and your car. Just go get them and put them in the dishwasher before they start growing mysterious substances that make me throw them in the trash instead of taking a chisel to them and disinfecting them for three hours.
- To have a day where I don’t have to repeat myself. Take the ear buds out and listen up. Please try and remember to pick up your socks before I walk in room so I don’t have to ask you ten times. Better yet, don’t put them there in the first place. We’ve talked about this. Don’t forget when it’s trash day. You’ve been taking it out every Monday for over a decade now. You know the drill. And get out of bed when your alarm goes off so I don’t have to keep yelling down the hallway for you to get up while I have my tooth brush jammed in my mouth.
- For my kids to get excited about doing things with me. The sweet Lord above knows I’ve faked my way through many things involving my kids: staying cool during a tantrum in aisle of the grocery store, acting excited about watching them go down the slide for the one-hundredth time, keeping a smile on my face during a play date, trying to act like everything is fine when I have no idea what I’m doing. They can fake their way through some of the holiday traditions their mother loves and get in the car to go see Christmas lights willingly and baking a batch of damn cookies without getting all floppy.
- Watch them do something good for someone else. This is one of those experiences that’s life changing. Not only do I want my kids to get into the habit of giving early so they can see how it will affect other people, I want them to experience how it feels to do it. Whether it’s paying for the person behind them at Starbucks or McDonald’s, or donating a meal to a family in need on their own, one of the most beautiful things a parent can wittiness is when their child gives.
- For my kids to hug me like they mean it. I get hugging your old ma isn’t cool and you have stuff to do but I’d give anything for one of the warm embraces you used to give me when you were younger. Anything.
- To put down the toilet seat. Please. Just do this. It makes me incredibly happy and takes almost zero effort in your part. Yes, it’s sad the joy it would bring me but that’s where I am in life. I have no desire to sink down into a cold toilet at 2am for the rest of my life. I’m all set with that.
That’s pretty much all I want from my teenagers this year. Of course, the best gift of all would be if these behaviors stuck around until they moved out. My hope is when they see how much less I nag them, they’ll put two and two together and we’ll all be spreading a bit more peace and love throughout the year.
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