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This year – a little older, a little shorter, a little grayer – I welcome the holiday season with sheer abandon that reminds me so very much of my younger me. I always love the lights, the bright eyes of smaller people and the sound of carols. This year, my holiday card list is a smidge shorter because some folks decided their time here was done; they are all added to my growing list of warm thoughts, happy smiles and dear memories.

Those growing memories make my annual wish list even more important and dear. My list of friends is wide and graciously varied. Some may celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas … or nothing. However you may choose to celebrate and enjoy this season, I add my list of what I’d like to have this holiday season.

• This holiday, I want so very much more than one single, solitary day of world peace. Actually, I’ll give in to my greedy side and ask for an entire year in which we have not one act of war. Not one.

• I’ll stick my neck out and expand on my greedy mood by asking for cell phones to disappear for – yes – a full year. I’d like to not have to watch out for others who are oblivious to other pedestrians and those who choose to use phones while they drive. The value of verbal conversations might return and, hopefully, find resurgence in one-on-one human connection.

• My previous wish would be eased for one day per year in which every single person on earth would receive one phone call from someone they didn’t expect. That surprise call would be chock full of love and care and concern and create indelible memories.

• I ask for an immediate, really gut-wrenching public physical reaction to every time a lie is said. Every. Single. Time. A sad and dangerous trend has already appeared in people of all ages in their disability to discern truth. We owe the truth far more than we are giving it.

• This year, I want oodles of abundant and free hugs. No matter the size of your town, humongous groups of people should stand on busy street corners and hand out free hugs. Research tells us that folks need at least eight hugs a day to maintain good health. I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of us are severely hug-deficient. You could start this all by yourself, one at a time. For one full year.

• For every single person on earth, a good night’s sleep. No family arguments, no yelling, no sirens, no gunshots, no insufficient housing. Let me also add lots of nice, warm covers, fresh air and a fluffy pillow. If I’m not pushing it, may we please also add a kajillion twinkling stars for the night?

• Smiles, everyone! I want everyone to smile at everyone else far more often. One of my favorite memories is of a woman I didn’t know very well and for far too briefly who smiled at strangers on the street, giving each one a cheery “Hello!” We need a huge bunch of fabulous, sincere smilers.

• One time this coming year, do something unexpected and unasked for someone you may or may not know. The value of doing something special makes your heart full and happy and is such a treat for the person receiving it. It can be as small as picking up the bill for someone’s lunch to raking someone’s yard. There’s a huge selection of nice things you can do for folks; sometimes, it’s even more fun to do it anonymously.

• For every single person on earth, the feeling of being truly loved. If it’s not too much to ask, I’ll add, “… for every single day of whatever days they have left in their life.”

Regardless of how you choose to celebrate this season, I hope every single one of your holidays is warm and fuzzy. I want you find comfort and warmth in the smile of the person who smiles at you on the street, and may you find oodles of peace and serenity and hope for the New Year. Especially hope.

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Bonnie Allmon Coffey is a huge fan of the fabulous magic of the holiday season. She puts jingle bells on her purse to remind folks that it is indeed a happy time. Bonnie doesn’t care whether you tell her “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Holiday,” “Happy Hanukkah” or “Assalamualaikum” – she’s simply thrilled to hear your happy voice greeting her.


L Magazine editor

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