Back in 1990, “My Grown Up Christmas List” was quietly released on a non-holiday album, “River of Love.” It was written by David Foster (music) and Linda Thompson-Jenner (lyrics) and even though it’s been recorded by such well known artists as Natalie Cole, Kelly Clarkson and Aretha Franklin, it remains a little known gem that will hopefully become a cornerstone Christmas song in years to come.
It’s easy to see how this song could be overlooked by a world that is hellbent on commercializing every special moment that happens in life. It’s easy to see how this song could be dismissed by those who lack the foresight to understand the beauty found in the gentle power of this lyrics and the music.
Yes, this song is about a visit to Santa Claus and yes, this is about asking for Christmas gifts. What sets this apart from other visits to Santa Claus and other gift lists is that this takes us back to a time when selfless wishes from the heart gently safeguarded the Spirit of Christmas.
When I first heard this song, it reminded me of the O. Henry story, “The Gift of the Magi.” Henry’s story is a poignant and touching story that speaks to the deep and unselfish love two people have for one another. I know that many who have read this story feel that it is overly sentimental and tantamount to glurge however the fact of the matter is that the world would benefit greatly if more people were like the main characters in this story.
Which takes me back to this song by Foster and Thompson-Jenner.
The world would be a better place for all if we were to make such wishes come true. Imagine how much safer this world would be for children if there truly were:
No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end.
Isn’t this the sort of world you wish for the children on earth regardless of race or religion or any other defining attributes that are the cause for so much unrest and unhappiness in this world?
I’ve been accused of being a shameless dreamer and truth be told, it doesn’t bother me to be thought of in this way. The world needs people who dare to dream and then who dare to make a difference in their corner of the world. As my 14-year-old son says, “If everyone does a little bit, a whole lot of good will get done.”
He’s right and so I will continue to do what I can to make this world a better place for others and I hope that all of you will help me do the same in 2010.
With that, I will leave you with two versions of this beautiful song so you can ponder the meaning of this wish. May 2010 bring you the success and happiness you deserve and more and may it bring with it the opportunity for all of us who share in this success to pay it forward for those who are less fortunate than we.