All I Want for Christmas is…

This woman in mom jeans sitting on Santa’s lap is one of my favorite instagram posts of all time. I imagine her exasperated confession is not embarrassment or shame at her lack of an answer; it’s because she is overwhelmed with the thought of having one more thing to consider in this season.

A 40-ish year old’s attempt to answer this question for herself should come without consideration of any constraints. Dream big, heart! To complete the conceptual exercise this post invites, I channeled my children’s unrelenting hopefulness and imaginary powers that lead them to believe they might find iPhone 14s under our Christmas tree despite the fact they have not demonstrated the ability to put two socks in a hamper on a regular basis.

I write today with the news that I have come up with an answer to Santa’s* question! What do I want?

Each Wednesday morning, trash cans and recycle bins line my street. Usually by the time we finish breakfast, the garbage and recycle trucks have taken the trash away, and the empty receptacles are ready to be returned to our garage until the following week.

What do I want? A garbage truck that comes to pick up emotional garbage. The folks who come to collect my emotional garbage would be wearing t-shirts that said things like “Good vibes only is a lie” and “Vulnerability is my jam.” They would take turns driving and overseeing the large arm-like extension from the truck that would suck the garbage right off my curb and into the truck. One of them would put a dog treat in my mailbox and wave to Wilbur in the window.

When I got home from work on Wednesday, the emotional garbage wouldn’t be on the curb. That lie I believed that was based in my own insecurity and no part of reality? Gone. That thing I said but didn’t mean and apologized for but still haunts me? Also gone. All that’s left behind is a treat for my dog, and me, feeling free.

*Santa is actually my therapist.