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What I want for Christmas

Members of my family always ask me what I want for Christmas. I have a well-rehearsed list of things I’d like: World peace, an end to poverty, a magic way to lose weight — so that it stays off and doesn’t come back — and cures for a host of chronic diseases and injuries that have touched the lives of people I love. When I rattle off that list, potential gift-givers just sigh and roll their eyes.

Another strategy I’ve tried is creating a list of worthy causes to which donations can be made in my name. This tactic has produced partial successes. Some people have divided the budget for what they intended to spend on me into a donation category and a “something to open” category. Although this helps support work toward the things on my first list, apparently the urge to box and wrap — or at least stick a bow on — something tangible is strong.

So, this year, I’ve written an entirely new list focusing on physical items.

An enhanced pencil: Many people have favorite styles and brands of pens, but I’m a pencil girl. My affections belong to Ticonderoga #2s. Their shafts feature a hexagonal design for optimal gripping comfort. Their graphite cores produce silky lines, and their erasers make my mistakes disappear. But, I’d like something slightly different. Not a mechanical pencil. Their leads may be extendable, but they are never sharp and often wobble. I prefer the elegance of singlehandedly twirling an object to expunge my blunders. What I want for Christmas is a pencil with a perpetually chiseled point and an everlasting eraser.

A mail vanishing box: My letter carrier, bless her heart, faithfully brings bags of mail just as if she were practicing to play Santa and I’d been a good little girl. The problem is that once I bring the mail in the house, it piles up. I’ll never get it all sorted, let alone read. My letter carrier is bound by regulations to put the mail in the curbside box, and I certainly don’t want to cause her any trouble. That’s why I want a mailbox that makes the mail disappear.

A new clothes dryer: The one I’ve got works well enough for getting wet clothes dry, but it lacks features that would make it a more remarkable appliance. As things currently stand, I have to take the clothes out manually when a buzzer sounds. Then there’s the folding, ironing, hanging, and putting away. I’d rather have a dryer that automatically performs these tasks. It may need pneumatic tubes in the wall, like the one the bank uses at the drive-up window, to route items to their appropriate dressers or closets. If it also came with a sock-locator feature able to recover the odd ones that always go astray, that would be a marvelous bonus.

A bio-battery charger: I’ve got battery chargers for my phone, my computer, my camera and even my telescope. When they start to slow down, I just plug them in for some more juice. My car even has the option of jumping the battery if it runs down. What I don’t have is a charger for myself. When my energy begins to lag before the end of the week, or even before the end of a day, I’d like to be able to plug myself in and get recharged.

A transporter: These devices appear frequently in some of my favorite movies, and I’d like one in my house. A home unit might have to be more compact than the kind they use on starships, but with the right design I imagine one would conveniently fit into a standard shower stall. My children currently live in three different states, and this kind of device would enable me to visit or invite them over more often.

I’ll admit that shopping for the items on my list might be a problem, at least until technology catches up with my dreams, but I’m content to wait. In the meantime, may all your Christmas dreams come true.

KAREN BELLENIR has been writing for The Farmville Herald since 2009. Her book, Happy to Be Here: A Transplant Takes Root in Farmville, Virginia features a compilation of her columns. It is available from PierPress.com. You can contact Karen at kbellenir@PierPress.com.