Posted by: deadmousediaries | December 1, 2017

All I Want for Christmas – a Reflection 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.

At Christmas, I find myself recalling memories of memory-making like the year I closed up my parents’ farm. A lifetime of memories flew past me like the pages of a cartoon flip-book. The years had been compressed to fit comfortably inside cardboard cartons. To the observer, they were boxes of junk. To the storyteller who packed them, the contents represented 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 transported from my parents’ house to ours was a box of pine blocks that my dad had cut and sanded by hand and presented to my son at Christmas 25 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 my first grandchild.

It seemed 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-to-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.




  1. Now you’re making me cry . . . . but those are the things I would like in the hustle and bustle of this Christmas, too. HUGS to you!

  2. Wonderful, thought provoking and so appropriate. Sending you big Christmas hugs.

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