The Yearbook Office
Writings on staying alive

Ask The Yearbook Office Contributors: Christmas Wishes

As 2013 comes to a close, we decided to ask the Yearbook Office Contributors what was on their Christmas wishlists to see what the kids are into these days and all that.

What do you want for Christmas?

Alice Lee

To have my photo used as a victim on Bones.

Josh A. Cagan

I'd like a cardigan that magically makes me look like a member of Belle & Sebastian, and not like the the lonely guy who hangs out at Arby's waiting for someone to ask him about his 'Ask Me About My Cockatiel' baseball cap.

Nicole Dieker

Warm, fuzzy socks with cute animals printed on them.

Elisabeth Geier

A comfortable mattress. A house with a yard. Satisfying careers for us both. A pile of money. A mile of ponies. A free flight to anywhere in the continental U.S. A better vegetarian reuben. A better relationship with time. An elevator ride with Tom Hanks. A hairstylist as good as Jamie, Who Moved to Kentucky and is Never Coming Back. An easy answer for "What's wrong?" A personal trainer. A personal pizza. A passive-aggressiveness translator to help my parents understand. A pair of boots that fit my calves. A closet full of pretty dresses and a bonfire made of pants. A coat like the one Zooey Deschanel wears any time Zooey Deschanel wears a coat. One of those necklaces that's not really steampunk but kind of is, the kind with a miniature pocket watch or spyglass on a long, tarnished chain, and it comes in a pouch instead of a box, and you bought it over the summer when I pointed one out, and you saved it for Christmas because you know how much I love Christmas, and I will cherish it, truly, but I will never wear it out because whenever I wear jewelry I am constantly aware that I Am Wearing Jewelry and it's such a distraction plus what if it gets caught in a car door or truck engine and strangles me what then.

Jeremiah Robert Craig Shepersky

An escape from the feeling that even as I'm working my hardest to be a decent human, there is a part of me that would down the world if it meant that my offspring would be the sole rulers of the ashes.

Brandi Murphy

Spiderman-like spinnerets that shoot a never ending supply of hair ties. I swear to god I just bought like 50. Where do they go?

Kristine Hamilton

I'm a giver. I like to give people things. Time, presents, a shoulder to cry on. Getting things is not something I'm as good at. Although, I guess that isn't completely true. No, it's a complete falsehood. I mean, I love getting presents. Presents make me feel loved and thought of. I suppose the real problem is that I never know what to say when someone asks me what I want. I turn into a stammering mess. There are a lot of ums and I don't knows, and eventually I say something like, "I like books, and dice, and art." This Christmas, I want people to accept the gifts I give them with grace, because they are from the heart and given happily, and I want someone to give me something just because they saw it and decided it was right for me. I don't want to ask for anything specific, I just want to enjoy a season of thoughtfulness and cheer with people I love and who love me back.

Okay, but what do you really want for Christmas?

Alice Lee


Jeremiah Robert Craig Shepersky

A director's cut release of "Quest for Zhu" on Blu-Ray.

Nicole Dieker

The trouble with thinking about what you really want for Christmas is that as soon as you describe the scenario, it can never happen. The image of me wearing green and red mittens, one hand clasped around a woolen glove as we walk through the holiday bazaar, turning a corner to find a snow globe, its flakes still falling from a previous shake and catching against the light. Me letting go to pick it up with both hands, because it's heavy, it's the good kind of snow globe that's made of real glass and individual cut snowflakes instead of plastic and glitter. Holding it, tilting it carefully to see the standing stones contained within, knowing that Christmas is about buying gifts for other people, putting it down. Turning back to look at it again as we walk away. Of course it's what's inside the box, later, even though I never asked for it out loud.

Why does it have to be a scenario? Because you can't ask for what you really want, not directly, not if it's anything closer to your heart than, say, socks with cute animals printed on them. You want those types of gifts to be given, and because of that you need to build up an entire scene around it, a reason for you to come across this type of present, so someone else will notice that you want it and give it to you. No one wants to ask for what they need to feel loved. No one wants to hand it out as an emailed Amazon link. But serendipity strikes rarely, and the idea of coming across what you have always wanted as an excuse to visibly want it is as absurd as saying "I have decided that this particular item is more meaningful than anything else you could possibly give me."

And yet. Now you know.

Benjamin Soileau

A wardrobe that leads to Narnia. I need more room for suits. I guess Mr. Tumnus can be my valet.

Elisabeth Geier

A way quell the wanting.

Josh A. Cagan

I want to remember that the holiday season is not a pale, pantomime version of the Christmases of my childhood. That it’s not a thing that I am going through the motions to recreate, like a cover band killing time in the corner of a dive bar, dutifully plunking out someone else’s songs while staring at the clock.

I have spent far too many holidays thinking about people who aren’t with us. Tables we no longer gather around. Voices that no longer echo through houses we can’t visit.

But time marches ever forward. There are new people in our lives. I have a young nephew, and he has no old memories. He is making memories as we speak. These holidays we’re together, this is what he’s going to remember years from now. This is what he will hold dear, and this is what he, one day, will pine for. My family and I are very lucky that we can pine for happy memories. I want him to have this same luck.

I don’t want his memories to be of a mimeograph of a xerox of a brass rubbing. I want him to have Grade A, top-of-the-line, shiny brand-goddamn-spanking new memories. We are the people who are with him. It is our table that we will all gather around. Our voices will ring through our house.

My friends The Doubleclicks have a Christmas CD called “Christmas Ain’t About Me Anymore,” and the title makes a lot of sense in this context. Holding on to the past, in the face of the future, the face of my nephew, that’s just selfish on my part. Christmas is a time for giving and sharing, not hoarding and keeping. It ain’t about me. It’s about him.

So we will pay homage to old traditions, and make new ones. There will still be a little sadness in our hearts for days gone by, but he doesn’t have to know that right now. Or hopefully ever.

Happy holidays, everyone. Go make awesome new memories.