All I want for Christmas is …
When I was a child, Christmas was the greatest time of the year. Christmas morning was magic. Coming out of my room and finding the tree lit in all its glory and surrounded with all the presents in the world.
As I grew up that changed. There were fewer presents under the tree. They were no longer as fun as they once were. More clothes and eventually no toys.
My tastes changed and what I wanted changed as well. I could always count on my mom giving me socks and underwear. It was an inside joke, but I really appreciated them. When she passed away in 1995 that ended too.
As my kids grew older, presents from them diminished. Where my wife once bought something for me from them, they started shopping for themselves and let me tell you they don’t have the expensive flair for gifts I do.
Finally, my sons started asking me for ideas, and truth was, I couldn’t give them any gift ideas. I started wanting things they couldn’t give me. There was no way they could give me straight days, weekends off and a take-home car. I eventually got it but that was from a different Santa.
Early in this period, I found the most important things I wanted were from the Department. I wanted a certain vacation period and day off group so that I could spend more time with my sons. I was divorced now and time with them became the most important item on my Christmas list.
I wanted the weekends off because that meant I could have my sons with me more often. I wanted straight days so that I could attend their school plays and parent-teacher nights.
Police work takes a lot from us. We spend less time with the ones that mean the most to us and it impacts both them and us. If you work evenings (my favorite shift) you miss so many activities with your kids. I seldom got to watch my sons play little league ball or help with their homework. When my ex-wife moved out of Chicago to the suburbs it got harder. I couldn’t sneak the fifty miles to see an inning of baseball.
The boys are older now and I’m retired, so my sons and I see much more of each other. And like most parent-child relationships that’s not always a good thing. However, I’d never give it up.
I still can’t think of anything I want for Christmas that they can buy me. I simply want to be there with them.
If I were still working the street there are a few things that they could buy me. I have a few ideas now that they have their own money to spend.
- A Yeti insulated coffee mug
- A new Saunders clipboard
- A new gear bag to hold everything
- A Navy-blue wool scarf
- Some of that new long underwear that keeps you warm and dry but is thinner than ever
- Oh, and some socks. My mom always got me the gold toe ones. They were the best. Size 13.
(These aren’t hints unless you really were at a loss for what to get me.)
I’m sure you each have something you’d love to find under the Christmas tree that is duty related. What is it? Print out a copy of this article and on the back write your wish list. Now leave it somewhere at home where your kids or wife will see it and hope for the best.
Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you have a safe and happy holiday. More important I hope you can spend it with your loved ones. If you are fortunate enough to get what you want, keep an eye out for your fellow officers who won’t be as fortunate. We lose too many officers and the holidays are a hard time for many people. Let them know they are not alone.
Leave me a note with your Christmas list. I’m not Santa but I am curious to see what everyone wants.
Stay safe everyone, run low and zigzag.
– Robert Weisskopf (Lt. ret.)
Editor’s note: You can read all of Robert Weisskopf’s articles at https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/author/robertw332/ and find all his books on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2PsbT4t.