Buzz off, Santa!
For the past 10 years, I have asked Santa Claus for the same gift. The same strong, handsome, confident, happy two-legged present. And every year, my special gift does not appear under the tree. This year, Santa, if you're reading this, I say, "Gweh! Mi nah beg yu nuttn."
Recently, I've developed a sense of independence borne out of necessity. A single girl of 32 (who watches far too much HGTV for her own good) gets these ideas - ideas that involve paint and lifting and electronics. And with no man in sight to do the dirty deeds, DIY becomes part of my daily routine.
Two Christmases ago, I was disappointed with my movie experiences at home. I'm all about feeling like I'm there, and my TV, try as it might at the time, just couldn't place me squarely in the action with the thunderous booms and dialogue from all angles you get when you go to Carib.
It was time to invest in a home-theatre system - and off to Courts I went.
The concerned utterances from the male sales attendant went something like:
"So who going to set this up for you?"
"You? Yu sure? Is nuff wire in di box yu know."
"Dem tings here nuh easy as dem look. Call me when yu give up."
Know this about me. I grow downright defiant in the face of doubt. Whereas I entirely acknowledged and appreciated the store attendant's concern, I was determined. If only to prove him wrong, my mission that I chose to accept was installation of my home-theatre system - by myself.
After collecting the unit, I headed to the hardware store and bought it all: hammer, screwdriver, wall nails, fishing line, two-side tape, hacksaw. I was prepared, and I was going to do this. I mean, really, how hard could it be? All the connections came colour-coded, and the rest, five years of university studies and gut instinct would figure out.
Assembly and colour-coding was the easy part; tricky was getting both DVD and cable in surround sound. Eventually, I used two RCA cables instead of one (but I'm telling you more details than you need to know; showing off). It was a long, hard road.
I sweated, completely ransacked my apartment, Googled 'surround sound for dummies', lost sleep, chipped a nail, and contemplated giving up twice.
The long and short of the story is that I did it. I installed my own surround-sound system. And that present, that sense of accomplishment at the time, was better than any gift Santa could have slipped down my imaginary chimney.
At Christmas time and in life in general, we have a way of hoping. A very passive, expectant way of just trusting that the things we really and truly want will just magically come to us because we deserve them. And we often forget the power within ourselves. A power that isn't reliant on anything or anyone external.
I am not helpless. We are not helpless. Many of the things we hope for, we can achieve with a little will, creativity and effort. Some sit back and depend on faith. But quickly I remind myself that 'faith without works is dead'.
I also strongly believe in buying yourself a Christmas present. Something you really want. If even for that one time for the year. We all slave for 12 months, and the feeling that the entire pay cheque goes right back into bills can be frustrating and demoralising.
Forget Santa. Don't ask your Pixie. I say pick one thing you really want and get it for yourself. It is a very satisfying feeling and it helps make hard work worth it.
I've come to the realisation that I don't need Santa Claus - and that small victory is a giant step for womankind.