says all he wants for Christmas this year is nothing – truly.
When I was a little boy, on Christmas Eve I would go to bed early so I’d be ready to see what Santa had given me in the night. But this wasn’t as easy as just waking up at dawn and racing to the fake white tree on a 30°C Adelaide morning. orning.
I lived with th my grandmother and she would uld make it more challenging. . There was an elaborate and, nd, for my young brain, tricky y treasure hunt. I would wake ke up and the first clue would ould be by my bed. This would ould lead me on an adventure nture inside and out of our ur council house. If I could ould solve all the clues, then hen I was led to the one big ig present. An official Han Solo blaster from The Empire mpire Strikes Back. A Castle le Grayskull from He-man. Or even one year, a banana-seat eat bicycle with chopper handle ndle bar.
It was like ke waking up in a wonderful l dream. A dream that I can still till close my eyes and see e through an Instagram filter in my mind.
Yet if you u were to talk to that boy with the bowl haircut, and d say to him that one day all he’ll want for Christmas is zip, he would stare blinking at you, like the graphics on a game of Pong. Here I am though, 44 years of age, and when my wife Lisa says to me, “What What do youwant you want for Ch Christmas?”, I say without even pausin pausing for thought, “Nothing.” In theory, I have all I need. My children are healthy, I feel very lucky and I still havem have my two front teeth. (They are mine.) I just don’t wan want the fuss now. I noticed this of dads I saw growing up. They were thrilled to get a pair of brown soc socks. I mean socks… really really? And brown? Ugh. I would stare in disbelief. When W I grew up, I was goin going to get incredible pres presents because I would be bigger bigge and my presents would f follow suit. But this is grown-up grow me. The thought of a gift g from my kids almost emba embarrasses me. I have wondered recently why I have this near-allergic n reaction to my fa favourite time of year. I still lov love the season. The movies, the decorations and I ADORE ca carols. Look, I am n no Grinch. My kids will get pr presents and I like to get Lisa something beautiful each year. Well, maybe I am a Grinch, just a self-loathing one. A Scrooge who needs the Ghost of Christmas Past to take me on a trip to say, “Hey man, chill out, let the kids buy you something… or, better yet, brah… make you something.” (Note to Hollywood: get Keanu Reeves to play this role.)
So that is it. I do want something for Christmas. I want my kids to make me something. A scrap of paper with some tinsel on it. Some Paddle Pop sticks with googly eyes. Something from the heart. Something I can look at when they’ve gone to bed, and all is quiet, and I can do that misty-eyed staring thing that dads do when they think no-one is watching.
And when my wife asks me what I am doing, I will put it on my desk, wipe my eyes and say, “Nothing, honey.” David co-hosts Today Extra, 9am weekdays, on the Nine Network.
“Maybe I need the Ghost of Christmas Past to take me on a trip to say, ‘Hey man, chill out, let the kids buy you something’”