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I want only one thing for Christmas

What do I want for Christmas? I’ve been asked that several times in the last few weeks. And my answer has consistently been “nothing,” which apparently isn’t the appropriate response.

But I’m not trying to be difficult. I honestly don’t want anything.

It really is amazing how the older I get, the less I really want. Maybe it has something to with finding a place to put it after I accept the thoughtful gift – who knows.

It wasn’t always this way.

When I was a kid and even as a young adult, I realized the reason why Christmas is celebrated, but I also couldn’t wait until Christmas morning and rip open gift-wrapped packages with my name on them. I have some very fond memories as a child coaxing my youngest brother out of bed in the middle of the night to “Go see if Santa came.” It was a ploy my younger brother and I used on our parents because we figured he was the youngest and cutest of their kids and wouldn’t get us in trouble for waking them at 3 in the morning. It apparently worked.

I got my fair share of toys, electric football, “Big Wheels” and “Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots.” I remember my fair share of bikes and “graduating” from a peddling bike to a 10-speed. But one of my favorite gifts was the year I received my very own portable black-and-white TV that I could put in my room. I thought I was an adult at age 12.

I also recall the early years of my childhood when my family lived in Merigold, Mississippi. My family wasn’t broke but there wasn’t a lot of money for gifts that year. My Uncle Bo had never been married and didn’t have any children of his own, but my Dad’s half-brother treated me and my two brothers like we were his own and brought each of us Cowboy boots. I’m not sure we ever took them off our feet.

I eventually got older and sleeping in on Christmas morning became more important to me — funny how that works — rather than tearing through presents. But my Dad would have none of it. As teenagers, he would come wake us up at 3 in the morning as payback for all those years of groggy Christmas mornings. And when we moved out, he’d call us on the phone in the middle of the night to “See if Santa came.”

So I guess what I want for this Christmas I have already received – memories of my family.

But now that I think of it as I write this column, there is something else I want. I want to spend time with the folks who matter the most to me. That’s it. Nothing more. Time has really become precious to me the older I get, which I assume is a normal thing. So I’ll take the gift of time spent with my parents, family and friends.

Rob Sigler is managing editor of The Oxford
EAGLE. Contact him at rob.sigler@oxfordeagle.com.