Emily Articulated: All I want for Christmas

By Emily Erickson
Reader Columnist

All I want for Christmas is a purpose-driven life — a succes-sion of choices strung together by the clarity of a common goal. I seek depth in my endeavors, sparks of inspiration igniting the flames of creativity, passion, connection and fulfillment. I’ll wield the measuring stick of my success against the feelings stirred up by the process of laboring, and the impact of my fruits on the people that will consume them.

Emily Erickson.

All I want for Christmas is a charitable spirit — a way of being generous with my time, my resources and my energy, whenever possible. I crave the humility that casts me as my neighbors’ equal; that seeks to understand the sto-ried pasts of the people around me and how those pasts shape their presents and futures. By leaning into empathy, I’ll search for the glowing bits of good that shine through veils often worn by those otherwise misunderstood.

All I want for Christmas is health and wellness for the peo-ple I love — the limitlessness of possibility for bodies and spirits devoid of pain and illness. I hope for an abundance of vibrancy, movement, play and vitality, and the absence of fear, anxiety, stress and sickness for those I hold dear. I’ll savor this strength of constitution for myself, and my family and friends, as long as we are afforded it.

All I want for Christmas is a community connected — a group of people living not only in proximity, but also on the common ground of kindness. I yearn for the camaraderie of my peers and of strangers, of neighbors aligned in our dedication to care for and elevate one another with consistency, intentionality and immovability. Small gestures like a wave or a smile will be raised by large gestures of support and love when there’s distress faced by one of our own.

All I want for Christmas is a lens of gratitude — a perspective on the world that’s colored by understanding how very lucky I am to live this life. I strive to seek pleasure in the things I already possess, to never choose tangible substitutions for intangible things and to recognize the myriad, complex ways in which a person can be blessed. I’ll turn away from numbness, opting instead for the ever-present choice to feel.

All I want for Christmas is the experience of wonder — to be struck with awe in as many ways, and with as much frequency, as possi-ble. I wish for the courage to witness beauty derived from the pursuit of grand things, and to maintain an ability to be amazed by simple, sweet and everyday occurrences. I’ll chase sunrises and sunsets, rainbows and mountain tops, paintings and parlor songs, and recognize the incredible miracle that is being out of breath.

All I want for Christmas is permission to grieve — to mourn the absences in my life carved out by loss. I long for space to unload the burden of unmet expectations and the weight of those who have let me down or left too soon. I’ll move toward peace within myself, sitting with memories like messages in a bottle, unrolled and rerolled with each passing year.

All I want for Christmas is unabridged learning — an insatiable curiosity, a winding drive to find broader horizons and enriched points of view. I pine after the kind of knowledge printed on pages, and also the lived experiences passed along by actions, work and generations of stories. Through inquisitiveness and attention, I’ll revel in the infinite lessons an open mind can find.

All I want for Christmas is a reason to hope — a beam of sunlight to break through the tumultuousness of our present-day lives. I wish for flickers of encouragement, for ropes of reprieve to be strategically thrown to anyone who feels like they might soon drown. I’ll search for reminders of humanity, for glimmers of progress and for signs that brighter days are just around the corner.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you and yours. This season, and every season, I hope you get all the things you want — and that those gifts come to you in beautiful, wonderful and unexpected ways.

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