As Christmas somehow continues to sneak up on us, I have been asked several times what my Christmas list includes. I can think of a number of treasures that I think I really want, but as I continue to get older, grow in my profession, and, as my marriage ages, I am finding that the things I want, I either buy for myself or realistically talk myself out of.
When it comes to my family’s traditions, the adult couples draw the names of another couple, and then we all buy gifts for the nephews and niece.
As an adult, it is quite easy to sift through my list of possible wants and think to myself, “This is crazy, I could get this for myself, if I really needed it.” Or, “Who am I and what have I done to receive these gifts?”
One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Grown-up Christmas List” sung by Amy Grant. In the lyrics, Amy wishes that: “No more lives torn apart/That wars would never start/And time would heal all hearts/Everyone would have a friend/And right would always win/And love would never end.”
I must admit, that just like Amy, these are really the things that I want. So, in the spirit of grown-up Christmas lists, here is mine:
1. I want my students to know they are loved by me and by a saviour who loves them more than anyone ever could.
2. That my students would fully understand that the people they are, who they truly are, is enough. They don’t need to act a certain way, or put up a front. Their true selves are beautiful!
3. That people, all over, would just be nice to each other; genuinely nice!
4. That our world would be a place that isn’t scary and isn’t full of such awful conflicts.
5. And finally, that everyone would get to experience, at some point in their lives, the feelings of 100 percent pure joy!
I am so excited to see and experience the blessings that the Christmas season brings. I know that along with receiving a couple of goodies off my want list, I can be actively working towards checking off a couple items from my grown-up list.
We live in a time where genuine niceness, love, and joy are gifts that anyone would be lucky to receive.
Keep this in mind as you go about preparing for, and celebrating this holiday season with those closest to you!
Kendall Vogts lives and teaches in Central Kansas. She is married to WFM publisher Todd Vogts.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This essay originally appeared in the December 2015 issue of Wichita Family Magazine.