David Camp­bell

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Stellar - - Contents -

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’”

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