The Honest Parent’s Christmas Wish List

Mary and I were commiserating the other night and found ourselves daydreaming about our Christmas lists. Here’s what we came up with.




To spend an entire 24-hour period without having to wipe or in any way lay eyes on someone else’s b-hole.


A time machine. In theory, this would be used for noble purposes or educational pursuits, like zapping yourself back to spend a day ruminating in the Parisian salons or getting the drop on the creator of Calliou Hitler. In actuality, it would constantly be utilized to whisk us back to those now-inconceivable, glorious, childfree Saturday mornings. (On a side note, young parents in possession of a time machine has got to be the greatest premise for a moral drama I’ve ever heard of.)


Her: To be able to sneeze, cough, laugh, or jump on a trampoline without ever-so-slightly peeing my pants.


Him: My (pre-child) free testosterone levels.


Her: See above.


To be able to pop a soda tab or unwrap a piece of candy without having a band of rugrats charge at me like hogs just called to slop.


A superpower that guarantees I strike the perfect balance between giving my children everything I’ve got and maintaining a Self that’s got anything worth giving. Or, if that’s off the table, the ability to conjure a babysitter at a moment’s notice.


A personal photographer. I don’t want to watch their childhood pass through the face of a phone; I don’t want to be empty-handed, without relic or record, when they’re grown. Also, it’d be nice to actually be in some of the photos.


World peace. No, I’m so fucking serious about this, especially this year. I’m sick of the senseless suffering. I’m sick of the politicking of human tragedy. I’m sick of my own complacency and cynicism in the face of it all. And, even though the inclusion of this wish has all the intellectual complexity of Amy Grant’s Grown Up Christmas Wish, I do wish it. Let there be peace on earth, at least for the kids.


A Roomba that’s able to navigate the interior contours of an SUV. We could call it a “Caroomba”. Ay, Caroomba!


Her: An entire yoga class devoted wholly to the final relaxation (shavasana) pose. So, basically, a guided nap.


Him: A device that’s able to quantify the caloric expenditure of giving piggy-back rides, carrying sleeping children upstairs, and the general wrangling that goes on in a day. Something like a Fitbit. A “Totbot”?


A lifetime enrollment in an Elf On The Shelf relocation services program.


An external memory where could be stored all the tiny moments of this strange parade upon which we are embarked. I fear I cannot keep it all; as new memories come, some others can’t help but be made dim. I’ve already forgotten that funny thing Rocky used to say from Winnie The Pooh. And, when was the moment when Boston first smiled that soul-shattering, toothless grin at me? Was it a Tuesday?


Did I say alcohol already? If not, alcohol.

What’s on your list this year? Leave it in the comments!

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'The Honest Parent’s Christmas Wish List' have 3 comments

  1. December 14, 2015 @ 4:31 PM Jannette Mullen

    Bret, this was so perfect great balance between funny and deep. Love the way your post always makes me think about this weeks adventure. My wish list would have to include those one on one moment with the grands that so often make me smile, transport me to years gone by or just plain make my day.
    Thank you for your list. Love, Nana


  2. December 14, 2015 @ 8:44 PM Em Modlin

    How about something that blissfully erases your mind’s catalogue of annoying children’s songs each night?

    Oh. Alcohol.


  3. December 15, 2015 @ 6:52 AM Kristine

    The list is wonderful! But the numbers 8 and 15 really hit the nail on the head. And yes.. my daughter is perfect in every way and my life would not be without her.. but I would like some day to try again the magical thing called sleeping all night and let the daylight wake me up 🙂


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