Wednesday, December 17, 2014

My Christmas List


It's an age old question that we all most likely answer a million times over at this time of year:
 "What do you want for Christmas?" 
This past weekend Charlie kept pestering me to tell him what I would like and I frustrate him immensely each time I respond  "nothing really". By Sunday morning he stood in the doorway to my office and begged me to please make him some kind of list.
But there's really nothing I want.
That answer only frustrates him more so I picked up a pen and paper and thought about what I truly want for Christmas.
My first inclination is to write down TIME. I want more time, I need more time. Time to exercise, time to read books and magazines, time to use the sewing and embroidery machine he gave me last year for Christmas that I have yet to even touch. I spend at least 2 hours a day commuting to work (that's a good day) with most days being 3+ hours of commuting on top of working all day. That means I spend on average of about 12 hours out of the house 5 days a week. Sometimes more. For about 3 years now. I'm not whining, I'm just tired. Tired of traffic, tired of commuting, tired of not having time to do things that used to be so important in my life, like working out or reading. Work absorbs so much of my time Monday through Friday that I can no longer do things I love doing because things like cooking a meal for my family win out in importance.  It's been a crazy way of living. One I chose, but one I am trying to figure out how to change because I want/need/miss TIME.
But I didn't write that down. Not because Charlie wouldn't understand what I mean, but because he already knows how frustrated I am and to ask for something so intangible would just make him crazy. So I sat staring out into space. Thinking. Then thinking some more. I remembered that I really want the book Gypsy by Sibella Court and that I wanted The Southerner's Handbook by Garden & Gun magazine. I wrote them down.
When I handed him that little piece of paper he just shook his head. I reminded him that there is really nothing in particular I want. He was still frustrated and I found myself struggling to put into words what I really wanted to say.
How do you tell someone that you don't even know what you want because they are items waiting to be discovered at a thrift shop or flea market? Nothing mass marketed, made in China or from a major retailer can make my heart skip a beat the way it does when I see that amazing treasure just sitting on a shelf or in a dingy corner of my favorite thrift stores.
I didn't know that a pair of demijohns would be the perfect addition to our home decor or that my dining room desperately needed this oil painting until I saw it hanging on the wall at ReStore. How could I have known that a bunch of vintage art that cost me a few dollars here and there would turn into a gorgeous gallery wall in our living room? Or how my heart feels full every time I walk past the set of mixed metal pheasant salt and pepper shakers I found on Etsy. What about the two sets of antique silverware I recently found for a song and couldn't bring myself to sell in the shop because they are just so incredibly beautiful that I am scared I will regret letting them get away.
These there are things I want. Things that have a past, tell a story and add beauty to our lives. I just don't know what they are yet because they are waiting for me to find them.

What's on your Christmas list this year?

P.S, On a side note, I was in Manhattan on Sunday Christmas shopping and found the most gorgeous pair of scissors and a stunning set of teaspoons at Anthropologie. I picked them up and told him he could put them in my stocking. He said I was a weirdo for wanting scissors and asked how many sets of teaspoons does one house need?
Men. They just don't get it.

2 comments:

  1. Oh gosh, if only people could gift time! And I totally associate with the need for pretty teaspoons and scissors. :)

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  2. Haha, men. I hear ya.

    You need to find a new job with a shorter commute! Get Santa on that!

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