With the annual Christmas season comes one of the things I dread the most: making a wish list of the things I want for Christmas. As simple as it may seem, I’ve always had difficulty thinking of things I actually want this time of year.

As is the norm, my father asked me for a list as I visited home for the Thanksgiving holiday. As is also the norm, I didn’t immediately have an answer, and procrastinated by telling him I’d get back to him. After more prodding, I told him I would have one for him over the past weekend.

It isn’t that there is absolutely nothing I want or could use. Instead, it is more that when pressed on it, I simply can’t think of anything. When I sit down and try to write it down, I am left with a blank page.

It is more something that I think about and notice during my daily life. I think about it then, but when I go back to make a list, I suddenly forget about it.

I created a small list last week with some of the bare essentials. Most of the time, my list is dominated with practical presents and requests. Gone are the days of a list dominated with expensive electronics and such. Instead, my list has become dominated by function over form. For this year, clothes are always a safe bet, and I also asked for a new bookshelf, as my current one is full.

I don’t think my father took my small list well, however.

“I guess gift cards,” he said on Facebook this week. “What stores?”

When I asked him to surprise me, he joked about giving me cards to Jack in the Box. This is coming from a man who has not eaten meat in over a year.

In talking to him about it, I was able to expand on my needs a little bit, but my list still is sparce compared to what it used to be. I had to push myself to include a few items on there out of personal wants rather than practical needs.

Happy birthday Saturday to Emma Ryan Bass of Bells.