the time for christmas

“What do YOU want for Christmas?”

That’s Santa’s line. As young as possible, we are supposed to teach to children to have a dream. What thrills your heart? Think of what it might be. Consider the alternatives, which is best? We tell kids they are supposed to come up with a cherished wish. They have the permission and the expectation that they should come up with it.

That’s a sweet pressure that we put on the kids. It’s something we want to instill. What do you want? Let it out…the people need to know. People are standing by to help make the wish come true.

I’m not a kid. Maybe I’m permanently part of the wish-fulfillment committee now. I’ve got some resources and skills now that I didn’t’ have when I was 10. I can make these wishes come true, and it’s a joy to help the kids in my life have their cherished fulfilled.

That’s part of the magic of Christmas.

And still….

Wishes aren’t just for kids. I have a family of people who want to know my hopes as well.

But like I said, I have skills and resources. I can help 10 year-olds with their wishes, but I can handle my own wishes, thank you very much.  I don’t need any help.

That’s the problem with being a serious grown up. I don’t need any help. I fulfill my own wishes almost as soon as I have them. I am a serious grown person. I know that I have to be serious about the things I wish for. I don’t need to bother other people.

The magic of Christmas is a lot of bother. To land that special moment of being there for each other, it takes planning and preparation.

We train our kids for it. And then I, like Ebeneezer Scrooge, don’t participate in the season by making that effort to dream of what I might want. My family wants to join in with me. That means I have to join too.

It’s hard! I have stuff to do. I have responsibilities and priorities. I don’t have time to think about what I like and what I want.

Every night, my cat has a routine. More than just the basics of food and water, which we have locked down, he will stand by to pursue his delight. He will quietly and expectantly stalk my husband to have their time.

When my husband puts his feet up on the couch, reading stories from his iPad, kitty jumps in. This is his moment—their moment. There are blankets, there is a special cubby between his legs and the back of the couch.

Into the cubby, kitty settles himself. He fits in there with the blanket and my husband’s leg. He stretches his legs and kneads the blanket with his claws in the ancient way of cats. My husband knows that this is kitty’s wish, and he makes a place for kitty.

The claws do hurt a bit, but my husband will tolerate it for the pleasure it brings our cat. They have a near-nightly tradition of this special time.

I confess, I am jealous of the cat. Why does he get to have special cuddle time with my husband?

And instantly I know the answer:

Kitty makes the time. Kitty asks for this and my husband is happy to give it to him.

I am the one rushing around from this to that and half the time am barking answers to my family about this or that activity.

If I want what kitty’s got, I have to do what kitty is doing.

I have to make the space in my heart, mind and schedule to recognize what my wishes are and to let people give them to me.