Posted by: deadmousediaries | December 17, 2011

All I Want for Christmas – a wish from Mitchell Kyd

The holidays are here and they are the perfect time to treat yourself to memories. Memories are always free and you never need a coupon. They are also fat-free, salt-free and low carb so it is okay to over-indulge. Because they are compact and easy to carry, memories can be summoned at a moment’s notice without a DVR or TVO, ready to be freeze-framed and rewound for instant replay.

    As we’ve been closing up my parents’ farm, a lifetime of memories has been flying past me like the pages of a cartoon flip-book. The years have now been compressed to fit comfortably inside cardboard cartons. To the observer, they are boxes of junk. To the storyteller who is packing them, the contents represent one of life’s little disparities; we often seem to blink and miss the moment but somehow still manage to catch the memory. I suppose it is like the summer peaches we boil away so we can enjoy them spread on toast on winter mornings

    In one of the many cartons of memories we’ve transported from my parents’ house to ours is a box of pine blocks that my dad cut and sanded by hand and presented to my son at Christmas 20 years ago. On the lifelong happiness scale, the blocks outscored every other gift he has ever received.

    This simple toy far outlasted the hockey table and the Nerf bazookas. It trumped the slot car track, the swing set and his first two-wheeler. Even as Santa turned tech-savvy and dropped off a Game Boy, an iPod and eventually a PlayStation, our kid still had great adventures exploring the mysteries of balance and the physics of fulcrums with his wooden blocks. No single thing has ever entertained him more consistently. What’s more, the blocks have survived the journey in grand style are still in great condition, ready to be passed along to whoever wobbles onto the scene as our first grandchild.

    It seems my dad had once again remembered a gift-giving truth that often eludes the rest of us: simple joys endure.

    As I think back on the power of that classic gift, it has made me stop and remember my best Christmas memories. It is the feelings that are created by family, constancy, and comforting tradition that stick with me now, decades after the gifts have been discarded. It has caused me to spend some time reflecting on what I might really want this Christmas and I think that it is this:

    I want to keep creating new stories that will be told at Christmas Future. I want to open my Christmas stocking and find it filled with more magic and less plastic, more wonder and less reality. While I’m waiting, I want to experience that sense of happy anticipation that is just as good as the having.

    I’m asking Santa to bring me fewer batteries and more things powered by imagination. I want my grown children to remember forever that we can travel to the green-cheese moon on a giant slingshot or just grow wings if that is more convenient.

    I want us all to be reminded that the December world has natural beauty. I’ll suggest that we tone down the glitz and replace the razzle dazzle with some old-fashioned winter splendor. I’ll ask Santa to give everyone permission to cut back on the lumens so we can enjoy more landscape luminescence. When I look back on the Christmas card my mind is painting of this year’s celebration, I want it to be timeless.

    I’m also asking Santa to give us all more face time and less Facebook friending. I think it might be nice to have more moments where we are present and fewer where we are texting TTYL. If he has time, I’ll ask that he drop off some mail for each of us with actual handwritten notes inside and make the phone ring with calls from friends who are far away.

    And finally, I’ll be saying, Santa, if you can bring me just one thing, please fill my head with the sweetest dreams of those of who will be missing at this year’s Christmas table. My memories are a simple joy and an enduring Christmas pleasure.

Copyright 2011.  Mitchell Kyd.  All rights reserved.

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Responses

  1. Thank you for the good thoughts of simpler times. The wonderful times spent with friends and family are far more important than any thing money can buy. Thanks for your good words that transport me back to when Christmas was a magic time of hope and wonder.

  2. Another piece to touch my spirit. May you recall those precious memories as you create new ones. Wishing you joy, blessings, good health and laughter this holiday season and in the new year.

  3. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect.

    And Perfect.

    Thank you.

    Love, Jill

  4. Because “happy anticipation … is just as good as the having,” Christmas Eve has always been my favorite, most magical night of the year. That night was reserved for immediate family and, even though ghosts now occupy half the chairs at our table, memories still make the magic happen. I wish you the same magic … Love, Lynn.

  5. Thanks yvonne, Well said. Hope you and your family have a wonderful and blessed Christmas and the Christmas you wished for.

    Steve & Chris Anne

  6. simply beautiful!!!doris courtney

  7. Several years ago, we went through the very same process packing up my mom and dad’s house after she decided to downsize after Popsy died. It was bittersweet sorting, packing, and distributing all of the “stuff” accumulated over the years. The treasured items are the simple ones, just like the blocks your dad made. Thank God for the wonderful memories. So many families do not have them. You, me, and others like us are the lucky ones. Merry Christmas!

  8. Hi Yvonne,

    Cathy’s son Brian here – just found your blog. This entry is great, and will keep me coming back for more of Mitchell’s missives. Keep writing.

    Happy Holidays & best wishes for a fantastic set of memories.

    Best,

    Brian Hansen


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