OPINION

Good Morning: All I want for Christmas

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
Michael Hutchins

As I've gotten older, I've found that the importance of things shifts with each year. The things that I once held dear really aren't that important, but the things that have always been there, the people in my life, are what truly matter. This is especially true during this time of year.

I've written in the past how there is one inevitable part of the Christmas season that I dislike: the Christmas wish list. When my father asks me what I want for Christmas, I invariably will come up with nothing, which will lead him to get creative about gifts.

As I've grown older, there are few things I want, but a few things I need. Clothes are a constant need. Good food and a special meal are a constant want. Everything in between shifts from year to year.

This year, there really is one thing I want and likely need: to see my father and spend the holiday with him. Unfortunately, that's not in the cards this year, and I doubt Santa can fit that on his sleigh.

The ongoing pandemic and other factors will keep us apart for the second year in a row, and this one feels harder than the first.  In the first year, everything still felt in the moment, which I think served as a distraction and there was a thought that it would be just one year.

While there has been the inevitable focus on shopping, gift giving and other aspects of the holiday, I am reminded of what really matters this time of year, and that is the friends and family around each and every one of us. Sometimes it you only see something's importance once it is gone or you no longer have access to it. That absence makes their importance stand out, but by that point it is too late.

So, instead of wishing for a new car, a fancy gadget or anything like that, I would be content to watch a movie Christmas night over a phone call — apart but still together.