by Christy Gualtieri
— I never get what I really want. I always get a bunch of stupid toys or clothes or a bicycle or something like that.
— What is it you want?
— Real estate.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
What do you really want for the holidays?
Like millions of Americans, I have an Amazon wish list I go through it every once in a while and delete stuff I no longer have a desire to own, and some things, like seasons of favorite TV shows, no longer make sense to own in a DVD format, with the advent of digital ownership (or rental on Netflix). When Christmas time comes around, I scan the list and decide on a gift or two I’d like from there, but I also want to go deeper than that. Stuff fades. Clothes wear thin, denim fades. Kitchen utensils break, or rust. Fancy soaps dissolve.
So what do I really want?
I turn on the TV and see horrible stories about terrorism and violence and unstoppable pandemics.
I want peace. Real, lasting peace.
I want to turn off the TV. I wonder what it was like when there was no TV. No Internet. (I have a really hard time turning off both of those.)
What else do I want? Acceptance as a mom. Being a stay-at-home mom is an exercise in frustration, if you’re like me and have anxiety about how I “measure up” against other moms and their children.
How can I give that to myself? How can I give peace, acceptance?
I’m not sure, yet. Oh, there are little ways, ways that matter: turning my attention away from devices and media and towards actual, physical neighbors and friends. That’ll probably solve some of my acceptance problem, too – focusing so much on myself never turns out for the best.
What are you wishing for this year that can’t be shopped for on an Internet site? What are the ways in which you’re going to seek it, really seek it?
I don’t know too much about the Wise Men that visited the Christ child in the manger, but I’m always glad there are three of them – as if they knew they shouldn’t make such an awesome journey alone.
We don’t have to do it alone, either. Let’s seek out peace, together. Let’s seek out justice, harmony, and those intangible – but oh, so real – things we need to not just survive this life, but thrive in it.
Christy Gualtieri is a freelance writer specializing in pop culture, religion, and motherhood. She lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and son, blogs at openthoseojos.wordpress.com, and tweets @agapeflower117.
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