My first Christmas memory – at least I think it was Christmas – is of my sisters and I playing Nintendo (just plain old Nintendo). I was so young that for all I know it could have just been some random day, but anytime I think about it I get that sort of rush that you only feel on Christmas morning. It’s a level of excitement that can’t be replicated by any other event – save for (maybe) a really awesome birthday present, or being totally surprised by an engagement proposal. Christmas morning, when you’re young, is just about the coolest day of the year; Christmas morning, when you’re an adult, however, is a little less glorious. It’s most likely spent recovering from a Christmas Eve spent drinking too much eggnog or too many vodka-tonics. Christmas, as a kid, was so great because it was the one time every year where we basically get to tell our parents our wildest wishes, and tell them to buy us whatever the fuck we want. In my family that didn’t necessarily mean much – I’m pretty sure I asked for a pair of Jordans every Christmas and never once got a pair, same goes for dogs. But looking at those big ass boxes under the tree you get your hopes up that maybe there were a pair of Jordan XI’s or a Nintendo 64 in one of them. And when you finally tore off that corny looking gift wrap and found that Nintendo 64/Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time bundle pack, it was the greatest fucking thing ever.
Christmas sucks now, though. It’s not because there’s some insane War on Christmas that Fox News keeps babbling about, but it’s because that Christmas euphoria is gone. When you’re twenty-five, you don’t have any Christmas lists filled with the latest video games, or whatever the cool shit is at the time. Christmas presents, when you’re a kid, are a bunch of things that you want; Christmas presents, as an adult, are just practical things that you need. I once, recently, received a fogless shower mirror for Christmas. Seriously. I’m not hating on the fogless shower mirror (okay, yes I am), it’s just that tearing open gift wrap and finding a mirror, or sweatpants, or socks, isn’t a particularly exhilarating experience – I’ve had more excitement watching You’ve Got Mail. As much as I would love a maxed out 13-inch MacBook Air, I know it’s not happening – not that it would have happened as a kid – because it’s not a practical purchase. Instead, I’ll probably open my Christmas present – or presents, but likely the former – and find a sweater, or an iTunes gift card (which I actually wouldn’t mind), or a book that I probably already own.
Below is a copy of my Christmas List. For the sake of practicality, though, there’s nothing on the list which is a tangible item that I want or need. What you’ll find, instead, are things which are far more important, not just to me, but to everyone in our country. Since we all know Barack Obama won re-election by giving away “gifts” to young people, women, and minorities, I’ve decided to cash in. What you’ll find below is my Christmas List for President Obama’s second term: things that I – a two time Obama voter, donor and campaign volunteer – believe our president must accomplish over these next four years.