Friday, December 19, 2008

All I Want for Christmas...

Let’s face it, I am way beyond wanting my two front teeth for Christmas. In fact, I would gladly trade the ones I have for a functioning right thumb. But medical miracles aside, I’ve had a hard time making out my wish list this year. When I was a kid, creating a wish list for Santa was a very strategic exercise, involving a delicate balance of toy catalog analysis, fun-quotient algorithm development, and parental manipulation. The stakes were high in those days. The slightest miscommunication could result in an unwearable velour sweater vest, instead of the hot new Star Wars vehicle of choice.

Now that I’m older and (don’t laugh) more mature, asking for toys feels a bit awkward, like asking for ketchup at an expensive steak restaurant. Furthermore, I don’t really need anything that I would put on a list for Christmas. I have more than my fair share of boxer shorts, and I will never wear a necktie again if I can help it. Tools are pretty much useless to me now, and so are those tree-killing page-a-day calendars that used to collect dust on our desk. Perhaps I could use a catheter bag cozy during these cold winter months, but who wants to ask a friend to knit that for Christmas?

Truth is, Christmas has lost quite a bit of luster for me. I tend to dread the shopping season and prefer to focus on time with friends and family versus the stress of finding the perfect gift. Still, every year my mother and my mother-in-law hound me for a Christmas list. Despite a few feigned protests, I eventually oblige with a collection of random thoughts, such as the following list from this year:

  • A cool new winter hat, the pale blue one I have is getting a little shaggy
  • A casual long-sleeved shirt, size extra large tall
  • Some cool pants that actually cover my ankles while sitting in my wheelchair, 36 x 36 should do the trick
  • A pair of warm, easy to slip on shoes (easy for someone else to put on I mean), mostly for going out in the winter but perhaps also in the house, size 13
  • Strategy board game (my latest geek-full hobby) that doesn’t require me to hold any cards
  • CD -- LCD Soundsystem (the "Sound of Silver" album)
  • The latest Thomas Friedman book, something about hot, flat and crowded I think
  • A six-pack of good beer
  • A good old-fashioned head scratching
  • Chocolate covered almonds
  • Wheelchair with an onboard commode, every man’s fantasy gift
  • Diaphragm pacemaker, although this one is a little expensive, about $20,000, and is not approved by the FDA for ALS yet

Such a list has become typical for me. I start with some rather boring and practical items, throw in a couple of fun things I probably wouldn’t buy for myself, and keeping with my boyhood tradition, finish off with a few fantastical gifts only Santa Claus himself could deliver. But like many parents of young children, I care far more about giving than receiving. The magic of Christmas has been renewed through their eyes. Although I must admit, I noticed a present for me under the tree, and I’m dying to find out what it is. No pun intended.

Merry Christmas to all, and may everyone get their two front teeth this year, whatever that might mean to you.


Matt K said...

Merry Christmas to you too, man. Good to hear from you again.

I hope that six-pack comes through.

lemon said...

Merry Christmas - I send you my love from Greece.
I was pleased to hear (read) from you again :)
Do give a kiss from me to those three beautiful girls of yours, also!

Anonymous said...

great to see another entry. your girls could be baby models for nordstroms.

the diaphragm pacemaker is intriguing to say the least. hope santa can lay his mitts on one...or two.

merry christmas and a blessed new year!


Janine Nelson said...

Scott, I want to thank you for your and your family are in my thoughts and prayers! I'm also glad that I'm not the only one who doesn't like the page-a-day calendars!! Happy Holidays Scott from your former baby sitter--Janine Nelson.

Alpha Monkey said...


Here's a little visit from a Ghost of Junior High Past. I have been reading your blog for ages and thought I should finally say hello.

I would be happy to knit you a Tea Cozy or a Pee Cozy. You just give me the dimensions and I'll leave the creative implementation of it up to you!