Tis the season. And tis also the season where I compile a list of things I want. I no longer mail said list to the North Pole, but I do deliver it in a timely fashion to my parents, complete with links to the exact things I want, detailed descriptions of items in a store (I have to restrain myself from drawing a map of Nordstrom for my mom).I could jump on the navel gazing band-wagon and punish myself for being so materialistic. I could box up everything in my room, put on a Santa suit, and drive it to good will. I could stop buying, stop receiving, stop wanting. But the truth is, I probably never will. Humans aren't saints. We're just us. The best I can do it try to want less, to give more, and to understand that I am incredibly blessed, not only because there will be a pile of presents under my tree come the morning of the 25th, but because of the way I am able to live my life on a daily basis. Gratitude is a difficult thing to hold onto. But I think that on those rare occasions that you can be truly grateful, you realize that gratitude doesn't just end with a smile and a thank you; it should motivate and galvanize. It should make us want to be better, to do better. So on this Christmas Eve, I have a new wish list, for myself, for anyone who reads this. We're all a little bit selfish by nature, but we're also prone to kindness and compassion. Sometimes we just forget to use it.
1) USO care packages for deployed soldiers.
2) Adopt an animal from the African Wildlife Foundation (they'll send you a cute little plush toy!)
3) Give a gift from the World Vision Christmas gift catalog
4) Donate to Save the Children before the 31st and your donation will be doubled
5) Donate to America's Second Harvest, the Nation's Food Bank Network. There are food bank shortages around the country. I think anyone would agree that it is unacceptable that anyone should starve in our country today.
So I'll get off my pedestal now. But I have no problem being thought preachy or patronizing, if even one person sees that list and gives to one of those very worthy charities. And it is in no way a list for everyone besides me. I'm using it to motivate myself, to remind myself that as upset as I might get for not getting a certain DVD or book tomorrow, I am so insanely lucky in so many ways. And I have no right to live my life without helping those who aren't so lucky. So there it is, my Christmas wish list.
Merry Christmas Eve everyone!