When I was a child, one of the highlights of my year was getting the Sears Christmas Wish Book. For about six weeks before Christmas, my sisters and I would go through that catalog over and over again, choosing exactly what we wanted and marking our top choices.
I remember wanting walkie-talkies and chemistry sets and electronics kits, among other things. There were always things I hoped for. Some years, I even got what I wanted.
Did I enjoy the gifts I got? Very much. I have fond memories of playing with other kids in the neighborhood with my walkie-talkies. I fascinated myself for many hours as I learned about electronics. And I joyfully mixed up disgusting things with my chemistry set. (I tried to dye the hair of one of my sister’s dolls, but I somehow turned the plastic hair green. Ooops.)
As much as I enjoyed playing with the things I got for Christmas, though, the gifts never matched the excitement and anticipation of looking forward to Christmas. Eventually, I came to understand that having something to look forward to is even more important than the things I have at the moment.