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So the first part of this article might read a lot like the Santa column I wrote a couple of years ago. If it seems familiar, maybe you really liked it or have a copy of my book…but it’s probably more likely our great minds just think alike
It really doesn’t seem that long ago when Christmas held so much wonder for me I almost couldn’t handle it. In the weeks leading up to December 25 I was so caught up with anticipation I could barely fall asleep and then couldn’t wait to wake up. I’d get up really early and tip-toe into the living room where I could have the Silver Tip, the ornaments, and the lights all to myself. I think those early AM experiences may have even produced a few “little kid” endorphins (and that’s way more than I can say about my Spin Class endorphin count.)
I can still visualize the shiny blue Schwinn Corvette (with speedometer) and I couldn’t come close to telling you how many USC football games I logged on the transistor radio (with ear piece and leather case) that Santa dropped off the Christmas I was a twelve year-old doing play-by-play. But the all-time biggest and best gifts remain the ones that are timeless gift-wrapped memories including my parents and my brother and aunts and uncles and too many cousins to count.
When I was a kid it just seemed like anything and everything was possible, especially this time of year. Seems like this year, a wide-eyed child-like sense of possibility could come in really handy.
I usually get into the Christmas spirit when I join Dental Assistant Extraordinaire Dani for a trip over to the Haven House Children’ Christmas party. The truth is, seeing joy of any kind on the faces of moms and children, away from home for Christmas and looking for a chance at life without generational fear, can be a powerful experience. And if you can provide even a glimmer of hope you’re more likely to see some more.
So without any trace of the usual sarcastic stuff I reserve for the Bruins, Bolton, Judge 2Fs, VP Cheney, and Doc (wrath of) Kahn, I give you my 2008 Top Ten Santa Wish List:
Wish #10: Quiet dental drills, local anesthetic that tastes just like pancakes, and 700 billion hours of community service for DDSs who ask way too many open-ended questions patients can’t answer.
Wish #9: Dental insurance programs realize it’s not 1970 anymore when they figure out annual maximum benefits.
Wish #8: The U.S. joins the rest of the civilized world and makes health insurance available for all of its citizens.
Wish #7: CC Sabathia takes the extra $60 million the Yankees didn’t need to offer him and invests some of it to help give poor kids a second or first chance. The Yankees match it.
Wish #6: The fenced-in shifting pile of dirt, AKA the Piazza (coming soon), becomes a rolling field of green…at least until the development job gets done.
Wish #5: Random acts of kindness replace random acts of violence.
Wish #4: Folks start quoting JFK again. Here’s a start: “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past and present are certain to miss the future.”
Wish #3: Fewer families celebrate Christmas in shelters like Haven House.
Wish #2: (Okay, so you knew this was coming) USC Trojans win a third consecutive Rose Bowl game.
Wish #1: Everyone within six degrees of separation and beyond has a happy, healthy Holiday and feels like the kid I was again.