Commentary: What Do You Really Want For The Holidays?

What do you want for Christmas? Or, Hanukkah? Or, any gift-giving holiday happening in the month of December?

To be honest, that is a good question. 

At my age, I no longer have to rely on ol’ Saint Nick to guide my holiday wants and needs. Heck, I would probably be that grandfather that would provide a child some happiness somehow. 

Like the time some 51 years ago, where I told a strip mall Santa that all I wanted for Christmas was a 1970 Dodge Challenger. Who in their right mind would give a 5-year-old a 1:1 scale version of one of the hottest cars in America? Rather, give a 5-year-old anything larger than a Hot Wheels version of the same car?

For me, the automobile would be a focal point in my childhood development. Hanukkah yielded a plastic glue-together model every year. Considering that the celebration of light lasted eight nights, that meant eight models, right? Maybe. I do recall getting a good selection of models ion the early 1970s. The tough part about these gifts was acknowledging that my gluing skills and my spray painting absolutely caused stress with my family. 

Maybe I loved the automobile too much to not understand what patience was. 

That impatience led to a memory that was provoked by a recent press release from Buick. The premium General Motors brand did a study where they found out that it is better to hide your gifts in your automobile than leaving them in a top shelf of a closet where your kids could actually see what you got them to put under your tree – or nearby the menorah. 

If that press release – the resulting technology Buick was pushing with Amazon in that release – was available in 1973, my mother would have found a way to hide our gifts in the trunk of a 1972 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight? On second thought…that wouldn’t have worked, either. 

The resulting technology we know of today have changed the way we deal with this season. We can get anything off of Amazon, right? Maybe. We can send digital holiday cards, right? Possibly. 

How many of us will actually put a big red bow on top of a brand new Lexus and give that as a gift? Perhaps the few that can afford to do so. 

Photo courtesy of the Ford Motor Company

The holidays just aren’t the same anymore. 

This year, the challenge of dealing with the holidays have been compounded by that damn virus that has seen cases go up tremendously in recent weeks. This country has already witnessed almost 300,000 deaths from COVID-19. Although, daily cases in Minnesota are trending down, who is to say whether we can see our relatives for Christmas next week in this state. I guess that’s up to Governor Tim Walz, Commissioner for the state’s Department of Health Jan Malcolm, and science. 

What about me? I was hoping to send out some tangible holidays cards this week. I actually have been refraining from sending out holiday cards for years. I guess because I felt that doing so had an empty meaning at a time when I was not in a good place in society. This year alone challenged that and perhaps that is why I was looking at sending out cards. Now, it seems that sending a card through the mail is like giving cooties to an unwanted love interest. 

Meanwhile, your dreams of getting a PlayStation 5 is in jeopardy. That is, if you can find one that has not been stolen from another person’s front porch. There goes another round of the latest version of Gran Turismo for you…

While we’re at it, here’s another gift to consider: A Ring security system. That way, you can see who is staking out your home and scoping out the deliveries that have not been taken inside. 

If you are concerned about the universe, do something for others that you might not have been able to do so with the entire family. Thank a front line healthcare worker. Get the emergency department of your local hospital a much needed meal. Call a friend you haven’t talk to in months…even years. Send an e-mail wishing the people you worked with a Happy Holiday – even if you worked from home and have not seen them since your office was shut down back in March. 

Even better, if you know someone who is dealing with COVID-19…reach out to them. Tell them you’re sending energy towards their recovery from this damn virus. Call it prayer, thoughts, shamanistic drumming…but something to get them through their bout with this killer. 

Photo by Randy Stern

With that said…Berry Lowman, get well soon, ya hoon!

If there is one thing I want for the holidays is the end of this damn virus. Whether it is by a vaccine or through common sense and following the guidelines set by your government, this has to end. We need to get back to a semblance of normal soon.

For the rest of us, Hanukkah is almost running out of candles. Christmas is next week. Kwanzaa will be even more relevant this year. And, it is almost time to remove that furry red ball from the grille of your truck.

Time is running out to tell us what you want for the holidays! 

Cover photo by Randy Stern

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