Everyone is talking about what they want for Christmas, listing this electronic device, that gadget, or this awesome something-or-other. When I think about Christmas and what I want, the things seem to fall into four categories: Too Expensive Things, Helping Others, Helpful Things, and the Intangibles.

Too Expensive Things:
- Hot Tub / Spa: This would be wonderful for my Psoriatic Arthritis, but totally not in anyone's budget.
- Mini Vacations to Places of Awesomeness: Camp Calumet (of course!), Cape Cod, PA to visit my in-laws (once a year isn't enough!), MD to visit my grand-in-laws, Disney World would be nice

Helping Others:
- Water Buffalo: I'd love to get a cow or goat or or llama or water buffalo (definitely a water buffalo!) or in some other way help people through Lutheran World Relief of Heifer International.
- Camp: I'd love to get supplies for our Favorite Place in the World - Camp Calumet Lutheran. Their Alternative Christmas Gifts are awesome - you can give the gift of food, fun, music and more!
- The Arts: I'd love to help Epoch Arts with building repairs and updates so they can have more space in which to carry out the WONDERFUL things they do for the community.

Helpful Things:
- Arthritis gloves, a wedge pillow, soft spica thumb spints, and wool socks for comfort.
- Gift cards for food, gas, and thrift stores ... and the many supplements I need to take daily.

- Peace: World peace would be nice, but personal peace, family peace, any kind of peace is wonderful!
- Community: As many people living with chronic illness have experienced, it can be isolating. Somehow the ability to be "connected" via the internet is even more isolating, as in-person interactions seem to be less and less. I love the doses of community I get at Tuesday Night Sunday School and Epoch Arts Homeschool Co-op or theater programs, but would love to be involved more deeply in community in some way, shape, or form.
- Compassion: It is my wish that those I love and care about know that I love them and value them, even if I'm often forgetful and bad at communicating at times. 

And then I think of all the blessings I have and realize that, all in all, I just want the world to be a kinder, better place for all. 

Thank you God, for the myriad blessings in my life. Please help me and others to focus on what we can do to make our homes, communities, and world a better place this Christmas and throughout the next year. Help our wants to be focused on the greater good, rather than selfishness. 


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