Saturday, December 23, 2006

10 Things I Want for Christmas

1. There's a guy who's lived down the street from us for over ten years. Though Ted always greets him when we see him in the neighborhood, he steadfastly refuses to respond. At this point, Ted has turned it into a campaign. Someday, he's sure of it, the neighbor will give in and say hello. So this year I'm putting it on my Christmas list...may grumpy neighbors everywhere crack a smile and maybe even wave.

2. Laughter and lots of it.

3. Imperfection. Let's face it; it's coming down the chimney whether we like it or not. Just because it's a holiday doesn't mean we'll be less lonely, that the mashed potatoes will be lump free, the relatives will be less annoying or that the gift inside the prettily wrapped box won't be an exact replica of the ugly sweater we got last year. So instead of fighting it or getting depressed over it, why not celebrate it? Why not set a special place at the table for life's messiness and disappointments and serve it a glass of wine? Who wants a Norman Rockwell Christmas anyway?

4. Snow!

5. Some watercolors so I can play with art in 2007

6. Time for spiritual reflection

7. A book of poetry with one line in it that transforms the way I see the world.

8. An amazing friend who died a few years ago was remembered in a eulogy as someone who said "Yes!" whenever he opened a gift--even before he saw what was inside. I want the attitude that permeated his life.

9. If peace on earth and goodwill to men seems like too much to ask this year, then at least a sincere and overwhelming desire for those things, and a renewed commitment to living them in every encounter, every thought, every action. If we tried it just for one day, who knows what we might begin?

10. Good things for all of you who have been kind enough to visit here, and to share your insights and your lives with me throughout the year.
Happiness, serenity, blessings to all.


Anyone have a number eleven?

45 comments:

marja-leena said...

I think you already have so many of these things in your wonderful positive attitude to life that is obvious in your writing! I'm thankful to know you and I wish you many blessings and that your wishes come true! Happy holidays, Patry.

Kerstin said...

I am rather fond of lumpy mashed potatoes! And yes, snow would be nice, perhaps next year. Such a lovely lovely list, Patry. My wish number 11? That all your wishes may come true!

Thank you for all your beautiful words this year; I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas and happy New Year - Kerstin

Sky said...

I GOT MY NUMBER 11! WE ARE HOOKED UP TO POWER AGAIN!

most of the pacific northwest now has electricity again!
yessssssssssssssss!!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Marilyn said...

Fabulous list! I'm right with ya on #9. The only thing I'd add is that just as peace and goodwill begins within each of us (as you said), so does change. One person CAN make a difference. Don't be afraid to take action! After all, look what starting a blog brought to each of our lives...right? ;) Happy Holidays, Patry...and best wishes for a fabulous (best-selling!) '07!

Matt said...

I love this list, and I agree with your Norman Rockwell comment -- I've always thought a Rockwell painting was nice to look at, but if you lived it you would miss so many of the wonderful, unexpected things that make life so grand. (I can't help but wonder, though, if somewhere there is a hidden Rockwell painting where Mom has burned the turkey and the kids are fighting at the table;-)

Hope you have a great Christmas; look forward to another great year on your blog!

- Matt

zhoen said...

Time to reread The Hogfather this evening.

Avus said...

No 11.
Health and Happiness to you and yours.

Susan Messer said...

Patry,

this is such a good list. It's hard to think of anything to add. Thanks for figuring it all out.

Love,
Susan

gerry rosser said...

Shoelaces which won't come untied.

Oh, yeah, peace love and understanding.

rdl said...

Great list! #10 backatha dear friend. #11 winning lottery ticket - what can i say, i'd like to quit my job and spread good cheer all year.

robin andrea said...

I hope you get all the things on your list. I suspect in many ways you have much of it already.

My number 11 is that for all of us to treat the earth like it's the only planet we've got.

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Patry, and thank you for being one of the brightest spots on the internets.

Sara said...

I'm hoping for a good movie. We don't really do most holidays here, for reasons I won't pontificate, but on Christmas everything in Massachusetts is closed except movie theaters and Chinese restaurants. So we always go see a movie and then have Chinese food.

I hear a lot of Jewish people grew up doing this every year, but my family did not, because we grew up in Southern California, where everything is (or was) much more secular and commercial every day of the year and where winter is not all that wintry so in any case you can almost always just go outside and play, no matter how old you are. Funny, then, that this "Jewish" Christmas tradition is what works for my love and me now, me an agnostic only on the best of days and him a self-described "fundamentalist Taoist."

Now all we need is a movie this holiday season devoid of easy choices like a good, juicy Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings installment. We don't do remakes, I won't do horror or mindlessly violent action, and he won't see a movie which is "about relationships." Neither of us tolerates sappy or blatantly manipulative. We're thinking The Good Shepherd might be our best bet. So I guess my number 11 would be either that The Good Shepherd won't suck or, alternatively, that we find something better and pick that.

Incidentally, I like lumpy mashed potatoes, and so does almost everyone I know. (This should come as no surprise from someone who just went on Gigantic Tear No. 5346, the one about About the Meaninglessness of Physical Perfection as a Pursuit in Cookie Baking, at her own blog, so sorry if I bore.) I deliberately leave lumps in mine.

In any event, I hope you enjoy your Christmas, and if there are lumps in your mashed potatoes after all, I hope you somehow manage to enjoy them, too.

Merriment to all, every day.

Lorna said...

the sequel to the Book of Bunny Sicides

donna said...

Ponies for everyone....

Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

Dear Patry,

My number 11:

Nurturing new friendships as they blossom and grow.

Much peace, love and Merry Christmas wishes.

Love and peace,
Deborah

Bernita said...

"Bless all the dear children."
Merry Christmas!

Tinker said...

Wonderful list, Patry - the second and fifth ones being my favorites. For a number 11, I'd add music to dance to and sing loudly with, on or off-key, but from the heart...
Wishing you and your loved ones happy holidays - and a wave from your neighbor!

kenju said...

No # 11 here, you said it all. Merry Christmas!

Peter said...

#11:

I'd love to exhibit some of the grace you encourage your fellow blog writers with; your bons mots and your words in season.

Peter said...

#12

I'd love for you to turn the semicolon in my previous comment into a colon.

Anonymous said...

#11
I'd like to see you write a wonderful story about the grumpy old man.

Merry Christmas

Tish

Fred Garber said...

I hope last nights turkey is as good tomorrow as it was last night. One of my wife's favorites. Turkey stuffed with dried fruit and nuts. She added a little twist by injecting tequila into the flesh before cooking.

MB said...

I love your #3 because I think it sets the stage for all the others... including all #11s.
Merry Christmas, Patry!
xo

RetroBerry said...

Merry Christmas, Patry...

Thank you for another wonderful year of you and your musings....

SFP said...

No. 11: no more cat sweaters from the mil.

All the best to you, Patry, in the coming year!

tammy vitale said...

these are so great! 11. Trusting the process of life as it unfolds in all its light and shadow!

A special thanks because I just realized I'd gotten To Aphra Behn through you and I love her blog.

May you find your line of poetry. May it cause a sharp intake of breath and a happy "bifurcation" along your path (do you do chaos theory? - birfuraction is the the butterfly's flap in Tokyo affecting weather in Kansas).

Happy new Year!

Sustenance Scout said...

I wish I could send you some of our snow, Patry! We have piles of it here in Denver this Christmas, with more on the way. Thank you for the gifts of your stories. I've printed your mother's holiday tale so I can pull it out each year and share it with my girls. Another gem for your collection!

liz elayne said...

these are all so good. number one made me laugh out loud - it is true that some neighbors just get their grumps on...

my number eleven is that we all continue to set boundaries when we need to even when it is hard even when the other parties bristle like unhappy hedgehogs. just keep setting the boundaries...

Coll said...

Hi Patry, just wanted to drop by to wish you happy holiday greetings. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. :-)

colleenR said...

"What's so funny bout peace love and understanding" by Elvis Costello always comes to mind.

Or "I want for you what you want for yourself" -- part of my husbands and my wedding vows.

Patry, the doll story came through! It was a line-up beyond my own design that I couldn't not notice. It wasn't as hard as I thought to speak of. Posted yet.

Blessings to you and yours!

The Curmudgeon said...

It's a little late, but Merry Christmas, Patry, to you and your family.

No number 11 as such -- when I was a kid and thought about wishes -- genies or leprechauns or anything else -- I always thought that the last wish should be for... more wishes.

Patry Francis said...

How wonderful to come back to the blog to your inspiring #11s. I cannot comment back to all of them, but I wonder if you can see me smiling as I read each one...

Yen said...

Great list. Happy Christmas Patry! :)

melba said...

Love all your wants for this year. I am still working on my list.
I wish you happiness today and in the New Year!!

XO,
Melba

AscenderRisesAbove said...

lovely list of ten. i cant think of a single number 11

KG said...

Fabulous list! I particularly love #8 and #9.

My #11 for right now: more time to exercise. I feel so much healthier when I do this.

This is beginning to sound like a New Year's resolution — I'll stop here. ;)

Anonymous said...

I only read your number 1 and I cannot stop laughing. I'm waging a similar campaign of my own with such a neighbor, but my campaign dates only 3 years :> Ha ha ha

Stephanie said...

I have nothing to add, except to say that you take the most wonderful photos for your blog!

tut-tut said...

Number 11 is my Number One: Cherish what you have, it's better than you think.

Desiree said...

My number 11 is that everyone will try a little harder to find inner happiness and will work harder at changing themselves and changing the world!

Number 12 would be that someone come up with a way to binge over the holidays and not gain a Christmas pound without working out till you drop mind you!

Sara said...

I just wanted you to know that I got my #11, and it was not The Good Shepherd, which we reconsidered after reading a number of terrible reviews, including just this title of one in the local newspaper: "The Spy Who Bored Me." bwa ha ha

Instead we went to the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square and saw Renoir's 1939 classic The Rules of the Game, which, if you haven't seen it, is an immaculately shot farce upon a farce inside another farce all wrapped up in a farcical tragedy. We had the worst movie popcorn ever, and then outstanding Chinese food at the Hong Kong restaurant, our favorite Chinese restaurant in Massachusetts, where we also had the pleasure of watching an array of unique characters while they made merry in deliciously diverse yet similar ways. It was a little stressful because we were bickering with each other on and off throughout, but, you know, how can you have a holiday without that?

Anyway, I hope everyone else got/is getting/continues to enjoy his or her #11, and of course that you, Patry, are enjoying your 10, wherever you might be with them.

How'd those mashed potatoes come out, anyway? ;)

Cheers!

chosha said...

11. Time. Just a little extra of the spare kind.

Patry Francis said...

I've been away for three days. Can I tell you how wonderful it is to come home to 10 more thought-provoking #11s? Fortunately, I have a chance to rewrite my personal list before New Years day.

Irene said...

what a great list!

Happy new year!!!

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,徵信社,