12/23/2014 11:00 am ET Updated Feb 22, 2015

25 Things Every Parent Wants for Christmas

Mike Julianelle

Growing up, when I asked my parents what they wanted for Christmas, they always made a (sad) joke out of it. They knew my brothers and I didn't have any money, so they didn't bother asking for anything real, like a new car, or a box of Cuban cigars, or a new furniture set.

Instead, they used Santa the way someone might use a genie: by asking my brothers and me for things that were abstract, theoretical, and totally unattainable. Just to make a point. They'd make requests like, "for you and your brothers to get along" or "a little peace and quiet" or "for you to behave." Just totally insane shit that would never happen in a million years.

Now that I'm a dad, nobody ever asks me what I want. But if they did? I'd reply exactly the same way as my mom and dad. Because I was wrong; they weren't joking.

The intangible, imaginary stuff really is what parents want for Christmas.

  • More sleep
  • Some sleep
  • Half a nap?
  • Fine, a prolonged series of slow blinks
  • Fewer tantrums
  • Fewer tantrums in public
  • A lifetime supply of booze
  • A lifetime supply of aspirin
  • Better kids
  • Quieter kids
  • Smarter kids
  • Fewer kids
  • A nanny
  • The world's strongest vacuum-cleaner
  • A maid
  • More batteries
  • Less batteries
  • Obedience
  • Acknowledgement
  • A tiny indication that the kid heard what I said?
  • Whatever, just give me a scarier voice
  • A vasectomy
  • And a long enough life to see my grandkids exact revenge

For more from Mike Julianelle, visit Dad and Buried.