A sixty year old’s letter to Santa

If a 60 year old wrote a letter to Santa this Christmas what do you think they would wish for?

As you tick off the shopping list this year for Christmas I want to interrupt you because there’s something that baby boomers want more than anything else this year and they might not be game enough to tell you. 

So I’m going to bring you their dream gift secret… the truth about what’s on their letter to Santa. It’s the least I can do to say thanks for a wonderful year of collaboration from you, our media, travel and industry partners. 

Stop and put yourself in the shoes of one of the Baby Boomers in your life. Imagine you had saved pretty well over the years, or maybe not, watched your kids travel, buy a house, build a career, find a partner, maybe even provide you with a few grandkids. Perhaps you’d retired or contemplated retiring, before spending the last couple of seasons of your year travelling intermittently pretty much anywhere and everywhere you could justify. You’ve re-found yourself again in exercise and getting healthy (or need to), filled your days with shopping, dining out and finding new hobbies you had never imagined taking up. And you’d been to Paul McCartney in the weeks before Christmas and Carole King the month before on a short jaunt to Sydney.  What do you think you would want for Christmas? 

Are you game enough to guess what the letter says? Do you imagine yourself wanting more of the things you buy yourself whenever you want? That new cream leather handbag? Probably not. Maybe a striped polo shirt, or perhaps a Google home you can chat with for the first 3 weeks before you forget it’s there… nope and nope.  Socks and pyjamas – probably a nice useful gift but no, and no. 

This year it is something money can’t buy that sits atop the Christmas list for those over 60 years – in fact, if money could buy it I think society would be a lot richer this year. 

 The one thing your parents and grandparents want from you more than anything else this year is

[drumroll please …] 

[Hear the drums ….] [Still strumming …]

… for you to visit and spend quality time with them. Real, well-enjoyed, preciously spent time.    

Not a quick “drop in, hi Mum, rush rush rush, open commercial gifts, look at mobile phone 30 times, gobble family meal, take selfie, obligation done … leave.”

Or the even better… “quick everyone gather around Skype and lets talk to Nana in between lunch and dinner while we have a second … rush rush rush”. Meanwhile your young passionate Nana has been waiting for your Skype photo to appear all day to see the little eager faces of her grandkids and hoping they remember the presents she sent among the mountains of plastic now settling in a pile in the corner of the living room. 

They want you to come, sit, ask, chat, relax, and let go a little, like you haven’t in a while. They want to see the kids open their presents and light up with excitement. They want to be trusted with your time and challenges and to be someone special that day, because you value their company, want to spend time together, want to laugh together and know they want to do the same. 

I sound horribly sentimental don’t I. I guess that’s what comes of hanging around with our community of more than 1.2 million groovy, outspoken boomers each day, listening to their passion for you, their children and their hopes for Christmas 2017 and their broken feeling dreams of family in this rushed society. These people, even the not very old Baby Boomers, want to share in your life now they are a little less busy but they don’t know how to ask you to prioritise it. In fact, many hugely successful, proud semi-retired and retired career-persons haven’t even got the courage to admit to you how badly they want you to make time. 

They value two to four hours of your uninterrupted time more than you do by far, and they certainly value it higher than a striped polo shirt or new handbag that you would spend two to four hours at the store seeking out. 

So, this year, please, stop, think about your precious time and attention and take an extra two hours for your parents. Even spend an hour thinking up a way to give it to them as a fun moment that all can enjoy the experience of. You might be surprised to see their faces light up just like those of the children in your house.  

Ask them… I bet they’ll admit it.  

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