The December air felt crisper this morning. It felt clear, as if the worry of the day had not yet seen the sun, as if the woes of the night before stayed there, as if that moment was just that: that moment. I tried to hold on to that feeling as long as I could, inhaled deeply and started walking towards the train station.
I walked and thought of Christmas. I thought of Christmas trees, and garlands, and baubles, and reindeers, and lights, and carols, red and green, gold and silver, wishes, presents, Santa on a Diet Coke bottle, pictures of perfectly wrapped gifts and my distinctive gift wrapping techniques (usually involving duct tape), the streets of London and the streets of Athens, decorations, festive cheer, homeless people, turkey roasts, families together and people alone, Christmas Cards, stamps and letters to Santa, Rudolph’s nose, Christmas markets, sweets and wishes, things we have, things we want, and how the two relate.
I found a seat on the train and held to the Christmas wish notion. ‘All I want for Christmas‘ spans from romantic love (is you) to cosmetic alterations (is my two front teeth) and altruistic motives (peace on earth). So, what do I want?
I decided to make a list of my 12 Christmas wishes, mirroring the 12 days of Christmas that come after. I decided to (as most stores urge me to do in their emails) treat myself. I did not plan to make an extravagant list of dolce vita trips or other material gifts. I wanted to make a list of the things that would remind me how wonderful this season can be. It was not a To Do list– it is a Wish List. No pressure in it, just fun. So I got my phone out, went to notes, and started listing; after 6, I got stuck. Come on, I said to myself, this should be easy. Well, it is not. I urge you to sit down and write your own 12 wishes of Christmas, and see if you can whip them all out at once. If you can, I salute your Christmas wisdom; if not, do not give up; keep staring at that paper until you find them.
So, I wrote them down, looked at them and thought two things: first ‘wow they are basic’; second ‘there are no actual activities in there‘. The two critical thoughts were connected in a way. If I looked at the definitive guide to spending Christmas in London at any book, most of the things I listed would not be in there; it would be filled with places to go, activities to try, sights to visit; but I did not want to do something just to do it. I did not want to tick it off (again, that is a wish list, not a to do list). So I said to myself: ‘basic is good; basic is what I want‘.
There was also a third thought, a whisper at the back: ‘that sounds like fun!’. It was that thought that filled me with a happy feeling that spread from my heart to my lips, forming a coy smile as I was looking at my screen.
So, here are my wishes of Christmas. what are yours?
1 Decorate a Christmas tree
2 Get a Christmas jumper and Christmas socks
3 Get an advent calendar
4 Give to charity
5 Play Christmas music on a lazy Sunday morning
6 Make a Christmas traditional UK desert and a traditional Greek desert
7 Sample as many festive treats as I can
8 decorate a Greek Christmas Ship
9 Call my family and sing the traditional Christmas Carols together
10 Make my Christmas DIY ornaments
11 Send Christmas cards
12 Have a Christmas movie marathon with a box of quality street