Now any aspiring beauty queen worth her six-inch heels will tell you that the ultimate Christmas wish of any year, decade or century is “world peace” and though I am no aspirant to such lofty heights, I do indeed long for world peace.
However, something tells me that Santa won’t be delivering world peace through my letter box this year, especially in view of Julian Assange and his band of mischief-makers’ WikiLeaks exploits.
Working with our cover model for Standard Health Magazine last week, I realised that what I really want for Christmas is long long lean legs, a dewy complexion, and a very attractive kind of innocence which at this stage I could only acquire by travelling back in time about 20 years!
When I conducted a quick poll around the office, asking people what they would want if they could have anything at all for Christmas, I had to make it clear that I wasn’t actually representing Father Christmas just in case I raised expectations to uncontrollable heights.
Nevertheless I was surprised that no one mentioned a consistent supply of electricity, clean running water that actually runs as opposed to standing stock still in some reservoir far from our homes, a generous but gentle rainy season and of course, a cure for Aids.
Quite alarmingly, several people desired brand new cars, iphones, houses, laptops and the most amazing of all was two gentlemen (I hesitate to honour them with this title) who both wanted new wives!
But seriously, if I had to choose a Christmas gift for my country I would surely choose a government that works.
Perhaps Santa could surprise me by pulling out of thin air a group of leaders who have the welfare of the people at heart, who have the courage of their convictions, who actually do what they say they will.
Of course that one is quite tricky because they would need to start by saying positive things, rather than threatening to hang anyone, shoot everyone or sue someone!
So if I can’t have world peace, (I guess this is reserved for beauty queens anyway, right?), perhaps I could settle for national peace. And I mean proper peace, not just the appearance of quiet on the surface while a veritable volcano is bubbling away underneath.
Ordinarily I would list several good books at the top of my list of favourite gifts,(see, I am not difficult to please!) but this year I would rather you gave me the time to read them, that would be much more valuable, and greatly appreciated.
Right now my fantasy holiday involves seven days in a place where there are no telephones and no other people.
My only responsibility would be to eat and sleep and enjoy time to myself. A whole week to read all the books I’ve been meaning to read this year, what a treat!
The queue on my bedside table at the moment includes Judith Garfield Todd’s Through the Darkness, and Richard Branson’s Losing my Virginity, The Eighth Habit by Steve Covey (never mind that I didn’t read the first seven habits, but at least I know what they are).
I realise it’s long overdue for all these books, but like I said, to find the time . . . At the National Art Gallery bookstore recently, I couldn’t resist buying a copy of Chamamanda Adeche’s Purple Hibiscus.
This at least, I have started reading as I simply couldn’t resist the lure of the voice of an intelligent and articulate African woman.
Fans who are worried that any book they get me will probably go unread for a few years are probably right, unless Santa delivers on that two-hour extension to make each of my days 26 hours instead of the usual 24.
And then of course he could organise the whole thing about not working on Fridays.
So the alternative to a reading book would clearly be a writing book.
I love note books of all descriptions, and my friends and relatives regularly delight me with ever newer and more beautiful ones.
This year my favourites were a pair of pink moleskin notebooks which were so exquisite that I was afraid to write in them for a few months.
A close second was a spiral-bound prize passed on to me from The Economist.
It is not only useful and inspiring but also hard-wearing and therefore goes everywhere with me. It is no accidental advantage that everyone now thinks I am an avid reader of The Economist.
So there you have it, my very short Christmas wish list, in order of priority: world peace, national peace, time to read and something pretty to write in.
I surely must be one of Santa’s easier customers. But then again, he only responds to those who are good throughout the year. . . Merry Christmas!
Thembe Sachikonye writes in her personal capacity. Readers’ comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org