My GrownUp Christmas List

by Olivia Barker

The older I get the shorter my Christmas list gets. I can afford to buy things that I want during the year, so my Christmas list is usually things I won't buy for myself because they aren't a priority. I only have four things on my list this year and that was a struggle-I really want to ask Santa for a new car...but I'm pretty sure I haven't been that good this year!

I remember when my Christmas list was filled with toys, clothes, cds, you know the most important things, but now all I really want for Christmas is time with my family and friends whenever I want, to be truly happy everyday, to love unconditionally and to have the courage and drive keep trying even when things get hard. No, these aren't the four things on this year's Christmas list (not sure where you can buy happiness or unconditional love), but if I could have anything for Christmas, any single one of these (or all) would be all I could ever want.

Being away from my family for the past four years has taught me so much about valuing the time I have with the people I love. Taking risks and challenging myself has helped me realize what makes me happy and what I need to do to be happy everyday. Even after Macon goes through the trash and spreads it through the living room all while I'm in the shower one room over, I still love him and if that isn't unconditional love...I don't know what is. I've had so many professional and personal ups and downs this semester and I haven't given up, even when I thought it about it. This has been one of the most challenging semesters in my career and I can't believe it's already so close to being over. I've learned to be a little more flexible with the things I really want in life, and while I may not get exactly what I've asked for on my grown up Christmas list this year, I'm glad to know I'm taking steps towards getting them every single day.

I am so excited to wrap up this semester. We are in the final days of fall term and I'm so thankful I survived! This semester is getting a giant bow on top and I'm ready to wrap this one up and put it right under my tree. I hope everyone takes a look at their grown up Christmas list and starts making efforts to get those things this year! Sometimes Santa gets a little busy, so we have to be good little boys and girls and go out and get the things on our lists ourselves!

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