I don’t want any presents this year. I’ll no doubt get some from my friends, family and loved ones, but they’re not what are important to me. I’ll be very grateful for them; don’t get me wrong, but what I really want for Christmas is for all of my friends, family and loved ones just to be safe, well and happy. That is the only and best present I could wish for. I know it’s all sentimental and mushy and people will probably take the piss out of this post, but you and I both know you’ll just put them on the naughty list anyway, so the jokes on them!
As for gifts, I have plenty of those. I have more than anyone could ever wish for in fact. I have friends I can trust and know will always be there for me, including a girlfriend that puts up with me no matter what, I have a tight family that would do anything for me, I have my health, a roof over my head, a job and food in my belly. People lose site of how many gifts they already have; we’re all guilty of forgetting how lucky we are. I could write a 10 page list of ‘things’ I want, but they’re definitely not things that are important. So, this year, I’m going to write a Christmas list that includes things I really want, and that are important.
I’ll start off with things that are specific to me.
- I want my mum to keep going from strength to strength as she continues her recovery from cancer. I want her to be happy and well and to realise what an amazing job she does as a mother. She is the most selfless person you will ever meet. She has dedicated her whole life to her family, and being with them is what makes her truly happy. She is incredible and I hope she is rewarded for that.
- I want my dad to have a relaxed Christmas without too much worrying. He’s the rock of our family and has been through a lot recently (even if he doesn’t admit it to himself) and I want him to know how much his family thinks of him, especially me.
- I want all my brothers and sisters to realise how beautiful and talented they all are, in their own individual ways, and to know I’ll be there for them whenever they need me. I want them to be successful and never give up on their dreams, no matter how difficult life gets at times.
- I want my nephews and niece to have the fun Christmas they deserve – they’re all little angels really, and they deserve to be rewarded. One day they’ll be ready to understand that presents aren’t what are important, but for now we can cut them a little slack.
- I want all my friends to realise how important they are to me, and to forgive me if I haven’t been the best at keeping in touch with them. Whether they’re friends from school days, friends from Epsom, friends from college and university, friends from the various jobs I’ve had over the years, friends from Bournemouth or London, friends from rowing or friends who have left this world, they know who they are and I want them all to be well and happy.
Now for the more general wishes. These are pretty big ones, so I don’t expect too much – but just see what you can do!
- I want people to be less greedy. My grandfather always says ‘greed is a bucket with a hole in – you’ll never fill it’. There are too many people in this world that believe monetary wealth is what’s important; it really isn’t. I hear so many stories about people being greedy and they really upset me. There are the obvious ones…huge corporations dodging tax to maximise their profits. Yes, it’s legal, but is it right? Shame on them for not contributing – they are far too greedy and they could do so much good with all the money they make. The landlords – they may be fortunate to own more than one house or property, when there are people in this world who don’t own anything, but that doesn’t mean they have to charge extortionate rents for disgusting dwellings or for shops that would put local, independent companies out of business. My friend works for an estate agent, and he tells me he is constantly receiving calls from landlords for student accommodation that want to put their rents up ‘just because they can’ and they know those desperate students who don’t have anywhere to go will have to pay it – shame on them. And shame on the shop owner who forced the closure of his own sister-in-law’s business because he demanded rents her small clothing company couldn’t afford, and proceeded to leave the shop vacant for months until there was someone willing to pay – it saddens me to think there are people this greedy in the world. I could go on and mention all the other greedy souls, but you get the idea and know who they are. Please, make them think about ‘life’ before ‘profit’.
- I wish people would be less angry. Some people go their whole lives being angry, and it’s really not fun! They don’t smile, they frown…they don’t laugh, they scowl…they spend every day looking for people to chastise and turn their nose up at, when they could be making new friends or brightening someone’s day. I don’t know what’s happened to them to make them feel this is the only way they can be, maybe they’ve never known love? I would ask you to help them experience what love and kindness is, so they can spread happiness rather than hatred.
- I want people to stop hurting others. Whether it’s people in power that send innocent soldiers to die for an unjust cause, and the countless deaths of innocent civilians that follow…whether it’s paedophiles and murderers that prey on the weak and vulnerable and ruin peoples lives forever…whether it’s those who take pleasure from bullying and making others lives a misery for no reason at all…and for all the other acts of unnecessary violence or mental abuse, may all those victims find solace and a way to get on with their lives, and may all those perpetrators find the help they need to realise what they have done is wrong and change their ways.
- Finally, I ask that humanity works together to protect one another and make this world a better place to live in. People understand what is right or wrong, what is moral and what is unjust, what will hurt people and what will make them happy, what causes wars and what will will create peace…may they all make the right decisions, decisions that are moral and just. We must remember that the world is a place for our children – not just our own children, but children everywhere. If you are a mother or father, you would do anything to protect your own offspring and give them everything they could ever wish for – just remember what you do in life affects their future and the future of others just like them. Don’t let them down!
So, Santa – this is my idealistic Christmas list. Idealistic is what it will be called, but realistic is what I believe it can be. If we all just take a moment this Christmas to reflect and look in the mirror, we can think about our own lives and actions and give the best Christmas present ever this year – a present that will change someone’s life for the better. Especially those people with power and in influential positions…give them the strength to do what is right. Let all those on your naughty list (and I’m sure it’s a very long list) do at least one thing that would make them worthy of being on your good list – then who knows, maybe we’ll start to see a change. Maybe then humanity will start to realise what’s really important and where true wealth lies. And last but not least, for all those people who don’t believe in you, sprinkle a little bit of magic in their hearts this Christmas and show them what it is that makes life so special.