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Christmas Wish Lists and Shopping

When I was a kid and the Sears Roebuck Christmas catalog arrived in the mail, I took it to my bedroom.  I folded down page corners and circled dolls and clothes. That catalog was my wish list.

             I dreamed about the fancy dolls and wearing the cool looking clothes, but I was happy with flannel pajamas that Mom had made and a doll from the local hardware store.  I do remember one gift from Sears: a stiff blue nylon can-can slip that held my full-gathered skirts almost parallel to the ground. 

            A generation later, a friend and I bought Santa Claus gifts in October.  After we’d shopped locally and didn’t find everything we were certain would be on our children’s wish lists, we made a Nashville shopping trip.

            The gifts that Daughter and Son got during the 1980s are the story of their childhood years. Star Wars, Strawberry Shortcakes dolls, a Speak and Spell, walkie-talkies, basketballs, books, and a tape recorder. And because I thought clothes should be Christmas gifts, Tennessee Tech sweatshirts.  

            Another generation later, Christmas shopping overwhelms me.  A month ago, I told Husband that choosing gifts for our eight Grands was a monumental task and it threatened my Christmas joy.  He listened while I reminisced about the fun shopping days for our children and I wanted to get shopping done soon and I wish I knew something each Grand would like and I didn’t even know anyone’s size.  

            When I had asked for ideas, I wasn’t taken seriously. “Really, Gran? Christmas is a long time from now.  It’s not even Thanksgiving yet,” my Grands said.

            So, Husband, bless him, took charge.  He created a flyer and made sure it was posted on the refrigerators at our Grands’ homes.

            ‘Attention: Grands

            Gran and Pop request that you submit your Christmas wish lists by bedtime on Monday, November 22.  You may call, text, email, Facebook message, Facetime, or Zoom to forward your requests.’

            At the bottom of the page in tiny font, Husband wrote words that will forever tell the story of 2021. ‘Disclaimer:  Not responsible for supply chain issues, cargo ships stuck in the Panama Canal or off the coast of California, Georgia or Louisiana, sleepy or uncooperative elves, fat reindeer, weather conditions, overworked postal workers, forgetful UPS drivers, thrown reindeer shoes, boring knock-knock jokes, overcooked cranberry sauce, and any other conditions beyond our control including, but limited to, color selections, size availability, lighting conditions, burned out Christmas tree bulbs, and wrinkled wrapping paper.’

            We got lists.  Puzzles, books, electronics, Legos, fun socks, pajamas, and a veterinarian kit. And one money request for an after Christmas shopping trip. 

            Christmas shopping changed from mail order to toy and department stores to buying some gifts online, but I’m glad wish lists still include toys, books, and clothes. 

            And the excitement of seeing a wrapped package under a Christmas tree never changes.  Even for my teen-age Grand who sent a text with an online link and wrote, “Here’s my wish list!”