My grown-up Christmas List

It’s finally the Christmas season. The season of giving, of love, and of hope. A time of being with family and friends. More importantly, the time we celebrate our savior’s birth. I can’t wait for these finals to be over so it can feel like Christmas time. So I can be with the people I love.

December is one of my favorite times of the year. There are two birthdays in my immediate family, my mom’s on the 23rd, and my sister’s on the 31st. It’s also holiday season, where Christmas music is everywhere you go, and the ground is covered in beautiful snow (usually, what’s up with the weather this year MN??) and its just a happy time. I also just love winter. Like I said before, it’s a season of giving, and the tradition of giving gifts on Christmas (and for both birthdays too) is one of my favorites. I do love giving gifts. I’m human though, so I also love receiving them. I think now it’s less about what I get, but just knowing that someone cares enough to give me something, if that makes sense. I know this isn’t  the most important part of Christmas but I do want to talk about this tradition right now in this blog. I want to talk about gift giving and receiving.

Every year, someone in my family will ask me what I want for Christmas. They usually tell me to make a list. So I do, and as I’ve grown older I’ve asked for less toys and more clothes and things. I came up with a materialistic list again this year, with some materialistic things, just like always. But as I’ve been thinking and reflecting, I know that the things I really want can’t be wrapped up in a box. So here’s some of the non-materialistic things I want to ask God for in my life this year.

This year, I want to be happy. And for many years after hopefully.

As many of you know I struggle with mental health issues, such as depression. So happiness is fleeting for me. I wouldn’t say that I’m in a terrible place with my happiness, but I’m not in a super great place either. I’m working on feeling satisfied with myself and my life, and things are definitely getting better. But my goal is really to get to a point where I don’t need so much help to be happy. I don’t want to be taking medications my whole life to be stable and happy. I saw a doctor once that told me he thought I let my mental illness define me. Sometimes, I probably do. I haven’t ever thought of what it would be like to overcome my issues with depression. He told me then that I would get through it. It won’t be a problem my whole life. He seemed to really mean that. And it gave me hope. So I’m praying that God is going to get me through this, and with time I can be back to my old self.

I also want peace.

Peace is something that we celebrate with Christmas time. Peace is also something I want not only for myself, but for the world. For myself, because of my anxiety. It kind of goes with my happiness wish. I have internal struggles of worry and fear that always seem to be in the back of my mind. I want that to go away. I wasn’t diagnosed with general anxiety disorder until my senior year of high school. So looking back, I do remember what it was like to not worry all the time about being good enough, or any other possible thing I find myself worrying about. For the world, I am sick of these wars. The war on ISIS, the bombings happening everywhere. I hate it. It makes my heart hurt. I know there are hardly any times in our world’s history that there was peace. It seems like there will always be conflict. But I still have hope. Jesus is coming back, and then there will be no more pain. I just wish that the horrific things in this world didn’t have to continue until then.

I also want freedom for everyone.

As anyone following me on social media also may know, I have been participating in Dressember this month. I am wearing a dress everyday this month to raise awareness (as well as hopefully funds) for women who are exploited for their femininity. Human trafficking, slavery, still exists everywhere in the world. After all we’ve been through, freedom is not guaranteed. Taken from the website about the foundation, “It’s estimated that there are currently over 30 million people trapped in slavery—more than any other point in history.” That’s horrifying. And this is a way to do something. Just by starting conversations about why I’m wearing dresses can encourage others to take a stand. We can also ask for funds to give to the International Justice Mission, a human rights organization dedicated to rescuing victims of slavery, sexual exploitation, and other forms of violent oppression. I learned about this foundation and this awesome challenge through the IJM chapter at school. I’m hoping to get more involved with them next semester, and continually educate myself and take a stand. People should not live this way. I know I can’t end it by myself, but I will do my part and continue to pray for those who still don’t have freedom. To find out more or donate to this cause, please visit my fundraising site: {To find out more about this or donate to the cause, visit my fundraising page.}

So yeah, there are definitely materialistic things I asked for this year, but these are things I truly want. I’ll continue to pray for these things not just this season but always. These things remind me of two great songs (yes this is how my brain works, everything reminds me of songs). One of them is “Better Days” by the Google Dolls. I didn’t even know this was a holiday song until some radio DJ mentioned it during the summer. If you listen to the lyrics, it definitely is. And I absolutely love the song.

Better Days:

And you asked me what I want this year
And I try to make this kind and clear
Just a chance that maybe we’ll find better days
‘Cause I don’t need boxes wrapped in strings
And designer love and empty things
Just a chance that maybe we’ll find better days

So take these words and sing out loud
‘Cause everyone is forgiven now
‘Cause tonight’s the night the world begins again

I need some place simple where we could live
And something only you can give
And that’s faith and trust and peace while we’re alive
And the one poor child who saved this world
And there’s ten million more who probably could
If we all just stopped and said a prayer for them

So take these words and sing out loud
‘Cause everyone is forgiven now
‘Cause tonight’s the night the world begins again

I wish everyone was loved tonight
And somehow stop this endless fight
Just a chance that maybe we’ll find better days

So take these words and sing out loud
‘Cause everyone is forgiven now
‘Cause tonight’s the night the world begins again

‘Cause tonight’s the night the world begins again

 

It’s really a great song. The other song I’m reminded of writing this post is the one its named after, “Grown-up Christmas List”.

“Grown-Up Christmas List”

Do you remember me?
I sat upon your knee
I wrote to you with childhood fantasies
Well, I’m all grown-up now
Can you still help somehow?
I’m not a child, but my heart still can dream

So here’s my lifelong wish
My grown-up Christmas list
Not for myself, but for a world in need

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
Every man would have a friend
That right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown-up Christmas list

What is this illusion called the innocence of youth?
Maybe only in that blind belief can we ever find the truth

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal our hearts
Every man would have a friend
That right would always win
And love would never end

This is my grown-up Christmas list
This is my only lifelong wish
This is my grown-up Christmas list

I really do hope we find better days in this world, and that wars would never start. I hope right always wins, and love never ends. I pray for happiness, peace, freedom, and overall just love for this world. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season. Remember the reason we celebrate, the one poor child that saved this world was born. And he’s still here with us today.
With love,
Chloe
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