Santa on Mill Street 2014
picture courtesy of Karen Dopson
Santa with Jerry Kline  1950
in Nichols Camera Shop on Mill Street
All I Want for Christmas is.............
by Cate Murway

“I don't want a lot for Christmas
There is just one thing I need
I don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree….”  
co-written by Grammy-award-winning record producer and songwriter Walter Afanasieff with Mariah Carey and others 

Many have voiced that their wish is for a simpler, warmer, more connected Christmas; a silent night, a star above, a blessed gift of hope and love. This Christian holiday honoring the birth of Jesus Christ [popular myth puts His birth on December 25th in the year 1 C.E.] evolved over two millennia into a worldwide religious and secular celebration, incorporating many pre-Christian, pagan traditions into the festivities along the way.

Christmas is one of the world’s biggest religious and commercial festivities but the best gifts cannot be bought and need no wrapping when the holiday emphasizes family and goodwill. Perhaps we can commit to filling this season spreading good cheer, with family bonding and sharing and caring. Give of ourself and our time with love and compassion and make it a festival of generosity. Be kind. The good we have done on our paths is all we really can leave to remember.

Full celebration of a family Christmas with all the trimmings and elaborate gifts became more widespread along with the increased prosperity from the 1950s. The bearer of the gifts, the man we know as Santa Claus, has a history all his own. The portly figure of Santa, [the name Santa Claus can be traced back to the Dutch Sinterklaas, which simply means Saint Nicholas], most likely perches in the very same chair, nodding and listening to the tots’ chatter. 

“And the sound of children's laughter fills the air….”

As we grow older, our lists get smaller; some of the gift requests are much more meaningful as we realize that the things we truly want cannot be bought.

“Oh, I won't ask for much this Christmas
I won't even wish for snow
And I'm just gonna keep on waiting
Underneath the mistletoe….”

Some responses are philosophical, and some are succinct, but they are all from the heart!
So, “All I Want for Christmas is.............”

“Is our Country back!” Colleen Bannon Bresnahan, Langhorne, PA

“A healthy family and another good year for Historic Bristol Borough's Raising the Bar's volunteers.”
Author William M. “Bill” Pezza, Bristol Borough: Raising the Bar  

“Cate, all I want for Christmas is honest politicians. But maybe that's asking too much. Oh, and a Behmor 1600 Plus Coffee Roaster.” Dave “Brews” Rutowski, Bristol, PA

“My Comcast bill to be lower!!” Anne Quattrocchi Walp, Great I.D.’s, Bristol Borough, PA

“All I want for Christmas is for Animal Control Officer, Bill Palmer to do his job.” 
Megan E. Hems, Hems Truck & Auto, Bristol Borough, PA

“All I want for Christmas is an interstellar spaceship with a few lessons on flying it. Perhaps just a lease one or a short-term rental would suffice. I would keep the miles to a minimum and just use it as a timesaver. My children are ‘space’ 8000 miles apart or 9 time zones. My wish is to spend Christmas morning with each one and their family.” 
William “Bill” Slack, Hudson, FL

“As a Rotarian my wish is for World Peace and Understanding. This holds true at the Community level, as well as, the International level; and is practiced as ‘Service Above Self’. Unfortunately, as Napoleon Bonaparte noted in his reflections on the human soul, people struggle much more intensely for their interests than for their ideals! 
The French writer Victor Hugo said: “We will practice charity when we could not impose justice”. Because it is not charity that we need. Justice reaches the causes of the problem; charity mitigates its effects. Monsignor Jacques Gaillot, also a Frenchman, with a serene look and pondered voice, dedicated his religious vocation to the defense of human rights, particularly those of the poor and of the prisoners of justice. He completed this reasoning: “I do not say that one must deny a plate of soup or a warm shelter to someone living in the streets. There are urgencies”. “I will do this, but my conscience will not be at peace, because I think that we must struggle against the structural causes that bond these people to injustice.” The saddest thing for me is that people get accustomed to injustice. For this reason I say: “Wake up! This is shameful! Let us show our indignation towards injustice!”
It was Chesterton who said: Pray as though everything depends on God; and act as if everything depends on ourselves. Merry Christmas.”
Joseph F. Hetherington, Bristol Borough, PA

“All I want is for my mom to be happy!” Alicia Sarzynski, Pine Hill, NJ

"Less stress in my life next year." John Ruszin, Bristol Borough, PA

“All I want for Christmas is time with my family.” Coleen McCrea Katz, Havertown, PA

“All I want for Christmas is time to reflect while gazing at the Christmas tree!” 
Maureen E. MacGrath Williams, Lecanto, FL

“All I want for Christmas is to relax!!” Maxine Engstrom Brown, Union Grove, WI

“All I want for Christmas is some elves to help me put my tree up, put the lights on it, decorate it with love and care.” Raquel Cruz Vertucio, Bristol, PA

“I won't make a list and send it
To the North Pole for Saint Nick
I won't even stay awake to
Hear those magic reindeer click….”

Still more……“All I Want for Christmas is.............”

“ a peaceful world. I have been wishing this for years, to no effect.” 
Stephanie Spotts, Newfoundland, PA

"As for me, just peace and quiet and less stress." Amy Mazzarella, Bristol Borough, PA

“All I want for Christmas is no more killing.....” Betsy Schmidt, Bristol Borough, PA

“A House for Me and My Family.. so tired of living in an apartment.. I want something that we can call our OWN..” Candace L. Harvey, Bristol Borough, PA

“All I want for Christmas is that my family be healthy, we spend a lot of time together, we can all cover our basic financial needs, and that God gives us the means to help some who are homeless or hungry.” Larry Katz, Esq. Havertown, PA

“Health and safety for my family, a peaceful world, people to respect and show consideration to others and to be the best parent I can be. Have a very Merry Christmas!!” 
Tracy Taylor Priske, West Palm Beach, FL

“Much cheer and joy and love in my home.” Ellen Doak Winslow, Edgewater Park, NJ

" want 2015 to be a good year...." Ashley Pugh, Bristol Borough, PA

And some wish for times that are mere memories now……

“Time with those who passed this year, my MIL, momma bear, Misty our dog, and my Bruds.” 
Lisa Charleston, Esq., Wayne, PA

Reconnect this holiday season.
Why, when there are inexhaustible resources and options for connection and happiness does it seem to elude us more than ever? 
Part of the issue is certainly the schedules that we keep or the transient lives we lead, but an obsession with technology can create a complex web, damaging our connections and true happiness.

Practice LESS Face book and install MORE face-to-face this magical season and stay all wrapped up in each other. Show up. Unplug. BE present!
Until one feels the spirit of Christmas, there is no Christmas.
Time passes much too quickly and Santa can’t bring everything!

The gift of love. The gift of peace. The gift of happiness. May all these be yours this Christmas.
Hey….. why are we always waiting until Christmas?

"All I Want for Christmas Is You" has been critically praised, with ‘The New Yorker’ calling it "one of the few worthy modern additions to the holiday canon".

​Recommend a "Spotlight". E-mail


"All I want for Christmas is a good paying job so I can continue to have a roof over my family and my head."
Tammy Roe Sweely, Bristol Borough, PA 

"All I want for Christmas is for all the kids that my organization santas helping hands donated to enjoy their toys and have a merry Christmas." Gabrielle Fab, Bristol, PA

"All I want for Christmas is to be surrounded by those I love; enjoying their company, reminiscing, and creating new memories." Millie Schwendiman-Coder, Bristol, PA