When I was an adolescent, Christmas was all about wanting something to transform my life. I would hope for and actually anticipate that I would get the right sweater or jeans or shoes or book bag or haircut or something that would make me popular or at least acceptable.
The year I asked for the striped turtleneck, I got instead a baby blue short-sleeved t-shirt emblazoned with "One Wild and Crazy Gal!" Yeah, that didn't help so much. When I asked for a book bag like the ones everyone else had I got instead a diaper bag, essentially, that I could not be seen carrying even to the trash. It didn't take long for my stepmother to adopt it as her gym bag. Hmmm.
As the oldest child I often got shafted by Santa because I "would understand." It is true that I had a good run with Santa as a pre-teen, but those weren't the years when I needed an extreme makeover.
Eventually I just stopped wanting although I couldn't extinguish that itch of hope going to bed on Christmas Eve. Then 5 years ago I got something that really did transform my life. I got pregnant.
This year my sons are 4 and I was able to give them exactly what they wanted. I hope I'll be smart enough to figure out what they wish for when they no longer sit on Santa's lap and spell it all out. And I hope I will know the difference between making them happy and making them spoiled.