The other day, you asked me what I want from you for Christmas.
I love you for asking. I could certainly produce a list. Unlike your father (Mr. “everything I need comes with an extended warranty and has to be scheduled onto our insurance”), I can come up with gift ideas commensurate with a teenager’s and a college student’s income at the drop of a hat. (Which reminds me: I need a wide-brimmed sun hat.)
You’ve already given me everything I want
But the fact is, without a single gift under our tree, you’ve already given me everything I want most from you.
You’ve texted me “I love you” out of the blue.
You’ve been kind.
You’ve checked in on me and with me. You’ve asked how that thing I was worried about went, or you’ve told me, without my having to bug you (much), how that thing you were worried about went.
You’ve fought through the hard last days of semesters you were DONE with long before they were done with you.
You’ve actively, deliberately loved me and others.
You’ve cheered me on and cheered me up.
You’ve inspired me.
You’ve fought for friendship even when bailing out would have been so much easier.
You’ve entered into the messy places of others’ struggles even though they were uncomfortable places to be.
You’ve called me out, with grace, when I needed an attitude reboot.
You’ve forgiven me.
You’ve loved each other not only as sibling but as friends.
You’ve let me hear you laughing together.
You’ve worked hard at what you love to do, and you’ve let me see it light you up.
You’ve agreed to spend time with me.
You’ve asked to spend time with me.
You’ve wanted to be home.
You’ve come home.
Here is what this mom wants for you
It is true that there are other things I want where you’re concerned. I can come up with that list straight-away, too.
I want you to be happy and healthy.
I want you to do work you believe in.
I want others to see in you some of what I see in you.
I want you to be in meaningful relationships.
I want you to wake up most mornings looking forward to your day.
These aren’t things I want from you; they’re things I want for you. I want them for you because everything you’ve already given me adds tremendous joy to my world.
It’s peace on my little piece of the earth.
It’s what’s most wonderful, any time of the year.
Because when it comes down to it, all I really want for Christmas—or any other time of the year—is you.