I’d like to start my Christmas shopping, but don’t have any idea of what to buy anyone. I asked my kids to give me a list of what they want. My son said that’s too easy. Instead he suggested I think about what I would like him to have. The first time I asked my daughter she gave me a list of what she called lame-things-to-get-for-Christmas – a dressy winter coat, ear buds and moccasins with fur (but not UGGs). But then she made it clear that she would be quite disappointed if she received anything off this list. Practical, but not fun. When I asked her a week later for the real list, she replied that she would get back to me.
That was two days ago and still no list.
It’s hard to think up a wish list when you have everything you need and most of what you want. Not to mention the fact that most of our closets and drawers are stuffed to the brim. The overflow moves to the garages, and when that’s full to a storage unit. And as a result, there is more than 2.35 million square feet of self-storage space in the United States, which is equivalent three-times the size of Manhattan island.
Those statistics make the idea of a grown up Christmas list more compelling. The focus would be on the change we’d like to see in the world and/or ourselves.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this concept and decided I should practice what I preach. So here are the five things I want for Christmas.

  1. I want the food I eat to be an extension of my faith and integrity. It should be honoring to my body. It should come from farms and facilities where the people are treated with dignity and paid a living wage. And the meat should come from farms with husbandry and management practices that promote animal welfare. I’m sure there are those who might argue that eating meat in general doesn’t promote animal welfare, but that’s a debate for another time.
  2. I want walking and yoga to be more than just something I do occasionally. I want it to be the way I live. I want to crave the activity like coffee in the morning. I want those two activities to be my go to for refreshment and renewal.
  3. I want to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness. To see it treated with the same compassion and concern that we treat cancer or other illnesses so that we can give people the help they need.
  4. I want compassion and love to be the driving force between our interactions with one another.
  5. And on a personal note, I want to be a part of book club that deeply discusses books from the point affecting social change.

A bit lofty and difficult to shop for, I know. But writing that list has helped me figure out what to buy.  I might not need a list from my kids after all.

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