What Do You Want for Christmas?

Hello! I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to be part of the Dear Santa, A Christmas Wish box set.

How many time have you asked the question, what do you want for Christmas? My children are all adults and on their own now, but each year I ask the question anyway–and as my family has grown larger, so has my shopping list, but sometimes what they want and what you can get just aren’t the same thing.

Their answers have certainly changed over the years. We’ve gone from a Cabbage Patch doll to an eight quart instant pot, for one, but seeing their faces when they open that special gift is worth it year after year. It was the need to find that Cabbage Patch doll and a reader’s cherished memory that inspired my story, What Dottie Wants.

In 1982, Cabbage Patch dolls were all the rage and that was the only thing my six-year-old wanted. I had my name in at all the stores if they got any in, but by the middle of December, that doll couldn’t be found anywhere. Sure, I’d gotten her other things, but I ached inside knowing she was going to be disappointed. And I was so angry and frustrated at the company that offered the toys in the first place and then couldn’t meet the demand.

One night out with friends for drinks and dancing, something you could do back then, I mentioned my frustration. One of our friends was a traveling salesman–yes, they did exist back then. He worked for Caldwell Linens. Terry offered to look around and see what he could do to help. I was grateful, but not really hopeful, and that was eating away at my enjoyment of the holiday. She would get her doll, but according to most stores, not until mid-January at the earliest–what was Santa supposed to do? Leave an IOU?

In the middle of the following week–we’re talking six days before Christmas, Terry called and said he had a lead on one. Be still my beating heart! But it was going to cost more than twice the going price. I agreed to pay the black market price, and he would make the exchange.

As we had for several years, we assembled at a friend’s home with our children on Christmas Eve. Santa always made a special delivery of one toy per child there. I hadn’t heard from our friend, so I had something for each of our children. Terry was late getting there and I was on pins and needles. I wanted to ask him, but I simply couldn’t get to him out of earshot of the kids. When it came time to distribute the gifts, lo and behold, the one for our daughter wasn’t the one I’d brought. Terry had come through. The look on Angie’s face was worth every dollar, especially when Benji came with two additional handmade outfits. She’s forty-five today, and still has that doll, and despite the numerous washing machine baths he’s had over the years, he looks just like he did, and still has that new baby smell.

It was the desire a mother has to make her children happy that motivated me to write What Dottie Wants, and because I’m a romantic at heart, I gave Veronica, a single mother who’s had a rough year, the Christmas wish she didn’t even know she had.

It’s been my pleasure to read a few of the stories in this set and believe me, this will truly be a Christmas treat.

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About Susanne Matthews

I'm a retired high school English teacher turned author. I'm Canadian. My husband and I have been married 48 years and have 3 children and 5 grandchildren, as well as 2 step-grandchildren.  I enjoy traveling, especially somewhere warm in winter.

2 Replies to “What Do You Want for Christmas?”

  1. Hi, Susan – I can definitely relate to the cabbage patch doll shortage, because I went thru the same thing with 2 little girls. Exactly – the following year, their father bought me one made of ceramic – the face, that is, the rest is cloth and it’s still in my office, altho the girls’ dad and I have moved on. Merry Christmas!

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