Christmas Fantasies, Wishes, & Wants

It’s Christmas. It’s supposed to be the season of giving, and it certainly is that. But if we’re being honest, that coin is two-sided. It’s also the season of wanting. Heck, some of the most popular Xmas songs of all time are all about wanting. Gayla Peevey, strangely enough, wanted a “hippopotamus for Christmas.” Both Alvin and the Chipmunks and Mariah Carey sing “All I Want for Christmas” songs. In the Chipmunks’ case it’s two front teeth for which they yearn, and for Mariah, it’s “You.” Amy Grant chimes in with her “Grown Up Christmas List.” And what is a list but a naming of wants? Then, immediately after Xmas, we turn our attention to the New Year with a set of resolutions outlining what we want to achieve or change about ourselves in the coming year.

I’m at an age and position in life where if I want something – unless it’s an unusually expensive item – I just go ahead and buy it. Thankfully, my material wants are relatively few. This reality tends to make compiling a Christmas list a bit difficult. I suppose I could turn my attention to altruistic wishes like peace on Earth and good will toward men, but blah, blah, blah. That’s like wishing for the Detroit Lions to win a playoff game (much less a Super Bowl), and I’ve all but given up on both of those.

This year, as I often am wont to do whenever I need wisdom, I turned to pop music to help me compile a list of my Christmas wants and New Year’s wishes. My go to rock-and-roll  philosopher Bruce Springsteen, wants to “die on the streets tonight in an everlasting kiss.” I love the passion and romance of this, but it’s a young, love-besotted man’s wish, not mine. Unlike Barrett Strong, money is not “What I Want” nor do “I, [like Queen] Want It All.” Rather, like Third Eye Blind, “I want something else to get me through this semi-charmed kind of life.” Huey Lewis longed for a “new drug,” but I’ve never been the sort to do any drug stronger than an Advil; therefore, Huey was no help. Likewise, Peter Gabriel’s desire to be someone’s “Sledgehammer” has no appeal to me. (Maybe I just don’t get his metaphor.) Like Bow Wow Wow, however, “I [do] Want Candy.” I always want candy, and I’m pretty sure I actually do get that metaphor.

Expanding on Bow Wow Wow’s theme, if I move beyond the materialistic realm into lived, sensual experiences, I find a few, helpful suggestions in the pop music realm. Whitney Houston wants to “dance with somebody.” Alanis Morissette recommends that I “walk around naked in [my] living room.” Marvin Gaye wants “sexual healing.” Foghat desperately pleads, “I just wanna make love to you,” and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails’ identifies the same desire but a bit more bluntly in their song “Animal.” I’m going to leave it at that. If you know, you know.


My most sincere wish is best expressed by Bono of U2 when he sings in “Where the Streets Have No Name” that “I want to tear down the walls that hold me inside” or by Freddie Mercury of Queen when he declares, “I want to break free.” Shakespeare wrote, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players.” I feel like, every day, I’m merely playing roles, not being myself, and I’m mouthing lines not written by me. Therefore, my never-to-come-true want/wish is to live completely uninhibited. As Emerson encouraged, “To speak the rude truth in all ways.” I’d like to be the life of just one party. I’d like to dance like no one’s watching just once. I’d like, just once, to “throw caution to the wind.” Just once, I’d like to speak my truths without fear of judgment, retribution, or disappointing or hurting someone else.

As the Backstreet Boys sang, “I want it that way;” however, I know I’ll never actually have it that way. A want/wish is more akin to a fantasy than a realistic expectation. And that’s the realm in which they should all probably remain. For as Keats wrote, “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter.” Even if we don’t expect them to happen in the real world, fantasies, wishes, and wants are still nice to imagine coming true.

Alas, I’m afraid it’s too late for me. Had I been of a different nature and nurture, maybe I could have been less self-conscious, pensive, and serious minded. Maybe, I could have been more fun and uninhibited. But as Popeye liked to say and Gloria Gaynor once sang, “I Am What I Am.” Unlike George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, life rarely affords us the opportunity to start over or to completely redefine ourselves. As F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “There are no second acts in American lives.”

In the end, however, whatever fantasies, wishes, and wants I possess that will remain unfulfilled this Christmas and in the new year, my reality is just fine. In fact, it’s better than fine. I’m sincerely full of appreciation and wonder as to how I’ve been so fortunate to live the life I have and to be able to look forward to whatever time lies ahead.

On that happy note, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Much thanks to anyone who has read this or any of my other “letters to the world” throughout the year.

Always with Gratitude and Love, Ty.

If you enjoy my blog posts, you may like to receive an email notification whenever a new article is posted. If so, click on the Menu link above and select “Home,” scroll down to the bottom, and click the “Follow” button. – Always with gratitude and love, Ty

Published by tyfroth

My primary passion and vocation is teaching literature and composition on both the high school and university level. My avocation is writing novels that explore contemporary themes/issues relevant to both young adult and adult readers.

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