When I was growing up, the big event of the holiday season was the arrival of the the Sears Christmas Wish Book. Thick as a metropolitan phone book, the tissue-paper-thin pages were a virtual F.A.O. Schwartz for a kid living in rural Wyoming. I remember grabbing the catalog soon after it arrived in October, sitting at the dining-room table with a ballpoint pen, and making large, paper-tearing X's next to the toys I wanted.
I never got any of those wished-for electronic racetracks, Spirographs, or Show 'N Tell Phono-Viewers, but I did treasure that Avon soap-on-a-rope I got annually from my grandmother. And, Mom? Those pumpkin-colored corduroy pants were pretty neat-o, too.
(In truth, I did get something I asked for one year: Romper Stompers. Fans of the old TV show "Romper Room" will know what I'm talking about when I say that my fondest Christmas memory is walking [stomping] around the living room on upside-down yellow plastic cups while clutching green plastic "ropes" to hold the cups against my shoes. You had to be there.)
As I grew older, my Christmas "wish books" grew a little more sophisticated. While others of my gender couldn't wait to rip the protective plastic off their catalogs from Victoria's Secret or Eddie Bauer, I panted after the over-priced writerly delights of Levenger. Once again, no one ever listened to my plea for a bamboo lap reader (with cup-holder), but still I prevailed.
So, now it's that time of year again--the season of dashed dreams. To honor the occasion, I've come up with a small list of things I'd love to see under my tree. Feel free to leave your Christmas wish lists in the comments section, and then send the link to your significant other. You never know; contrary to what the Rolling Stones say, you might get what you want.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo on my bookshelf, but there's something beautiful about this boxed set that starts the drool flowing.
Everything ElseOf course, there's also the usual assortment of Books of the Moment that I just cannot live without. A partial list includes: Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart, Colonel Roosevelt by Edmund Morris, A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, The Sherlockian by Graham Moore, Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro, The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer, The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman, Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross, Half a Life by Darin Strauss, The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall, and The Tiger by John Vaillant.
Oh yeah, I guess I want peace on earth and goodwill to men, too.