When you were a kid, was there ever something that you wanted for Christmas that you never, ever received? Sure there was! Practically everyone I know has a similar tale of missing out on that ONE THING that they really, really wanted for Christmas. It seems to be a common thread that runs through most childhoods: the constant requests, numerous appearances on wishlists and endless begging to department store Santas that yielded disappointing results.
For me, that elusive gift was a trampoline. I asked for a trampoline every Christmas from the time I was four years old until I was fourteen. For ten years I diligently added it to my Christmas list. When I was tiny, that involved cutting a picture of a trampoline out of a toy catalog and pasting it to a collage of My Little Ponies and Ninja Turtles paraphernalia. As I got older, I would labour away, tongue poking out the side of my mouth as I struggled to spell “trampoline”. I even remember getting out Dad’s enormous hard-cover dictionary to make sure that I got the spelling exactly right so that there could be no mistake as to what I was asking for.
Despite my constant requests, I never got a trampoline. I had to settle for bouncing on the one in my best friend’s backyard every second weekend when I would sleep over at her place. But as awesome as that was, it never measured up to the hope of owning my very own trampoline. I harbored dreams of spending the hours after school in a semi-suspended state of bouncing bliss. I imagined how skilled I could become at flips and somersaults if I only had the means to practice them on a daily basis. And I also thought that the trampoline would be a bitchin’ place to sleep on hot summer nights.
Now, I should point out that my parents had a pretty good reason for not buying me a trampoline. Years earlier, my aunt had fractured her skull when she took a nasty spill on a trampoline. Apparently she had similar hopes of mastering a mid-air somersault, but during her maiden attempt her knee violently kissed her forehead, shattering her skull. Although my aunt recovered, all the adults in my family decided from that point on that none of the kids should own a trampoline lest the same thing happen to them. And considering the fact that every member of our family seems to have been bashed with the unco-stick, I’d say that was a pretty good decision.
So I never got a trampoline, and it took ten years before I gave up asking for one.
So now it’s over to you. What was the one thing you always wanted but never got for Christmas? How long did it take you to stop asking?