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Reflecting on ‘My Grown-Up Christmas List’

I originally posted this two years ago before the coronavirus pandemic took so many of us away and The Big Lie drove so many of us apart.  It strikes me as even more relevant now.  For myself, the way covid life has changed, I’m rarely at the 59th Street Station anymore, so I wonder what’s become of Bill.  Did he survive the waves of the virus that have ravaged New York City?  Does he still draw posters for children on the subway platform?  Did he find a friend?

So this is for Bill and anyone else who needs a friend or just a little kindness from a stranger. 

If you know someone, please pass it on.  – Larry


“’My Grown-Up Christmas List’ is a Kind Gift to Others”

By Lawrence Pfeil Jr.

As kids we make a list of toys that we want Santa to bring us.  As we get older, the list changes to our Christmas list passed around so our family knows what to get us every year.  Eventually “the list” becomes all of the family, friends, and coworkers we have to buy gifts for and what was once joyful has become drudgery.

Even when we get all the perfect gifts for everyone, it never seems enough.  Little kids end up playing with the box the toys came in; social media mavens are too busy comparing what they got with everybody else; and when we get exactly what we asked for, it never quite lives up to expectations, or least not for very long because a new version came out while we were wait for this one.

I was listening to an old Christmas album yesterday and heard a song for the first time in forever.  The song was “My Grown-Up Christmas List” and it got me thinking about lists and gifts and what we would really like for Christmas.  Later I came across this on Twitter.

I’ve seen this gentleman in the 59th St station in New York City for several years.   When I saw this tweet, I heard “My Grown-Up Christmas List” playing in my head again, “every man would have a friend.”  It got me thinking about my own list.

At the top of my list is kindness.  It feels like we live in constant anger and outrage (not without good reason), and somewhere kindness toward each other seems to have dried up.

Kindness puts an end to LGBTQ youth homelessness before it begins; stops the murder of trans women of color; and cures the loneliness of our Community’s elders who have done so much to get us where we are today.  We can make a lot of people happy with the gift of kindness.

Originally recorded by Natalie Cole in 1990 this is, “My Grown-Up Christmas List.”

May it inspire your own grown-up list and bring you joy this holiday season.

One thought on “Reflecting on ‘My Grown-Up Christmas List’

  • Randy Slovacek

    Perfectly said. Fairly often these days I wonder to myself, “Could we perhaps find a little more grace?” Thank you.


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