A Year of Gifts
Do you still close your eyes and make a wish when you see the first star in an inky black sky?
How is it that I can’t remember someone’s name five minutes after I’ve met them, but the Star Bright rhyme from my childhood pops into my head nearly every time I see a twinkling star above?
(Sorry – now it might be stuck in your head, too.)
I feel like wishes get a bum rap. We have all kinds of wishes and dreams when we are growing up. Some of us manage to keep on dreaming, but often, life intervenes, and we get caught up in the busy, monotonous rhythms of daily life. Our wishes fall to the wayside. We don’t have time for that silly stuff anymore.
When we were younger, there was always more than one way to make a wish. We’d make a wish before blowing out our birthday candles. Or how about when we’d pick a fluffed-out dandelion on a hot summer day? Did you blow on it and send your wishes off on the cottony seeds as they drifted away?
Out of curiosity, I poked around on the internet and had to grin as I was reminded of other prompts we used to wish on:
There were others listed, but they didn’t ring a bell for me.
When we were young and the holidays were approaching, we’d sit for long hours with a Sears or Montgomery Ward catalog in our laps, carefully studying the toy section and circling those items we’d wish we would find under the tree on Christmas morning. Visits with Santa Claus were another valued opportunity to make our holiday wishes known.
Do you ever wish you could go back to those simpler days? In reality, maybe they weren’t simpler, but if we were lucky, as kids, we were blissfully unaware of bigger troubles.
But as soon as we reach adulthood, there isn’t nearly as much encouragement to spend time wishing. Setting goals and working hard – yes. But sitting quietly and looking into our own hearts to remember some of our earliest wishes for our own lives (and letting those dreams drive our goals) – not very often.
One fun thing we do get to do as adults is to try to help make the wishes of children come true.
I remember the anxiety I felt one holiday season when our then three-year-old son only wanted a “101 Dalmatians” video from Santa. This created a dilemma. Twenty-plus years ago, Disney would cycle through their movies, only offering some for a “limited time” and then locking them back up “in their vault.” You couldn’t simply “go online” to find a random copy somewhere. I looked and looked but had no luck, sure our little boy was going to be so disappointed on Christmas morning.
But wishes can be powerful things. My brother happened to be dating someone at the time who loved and collected Disney movies. He was bringing her home to meet us all for the very first time that Christmas, and when she heard about our dilemma, she saved the day. Santa was able to deliver. I knew I liked that girl (and she’s been part of the family ever since!)
And let’s not forget the amazing Make-a-Wish foundation – granting wishes to critically ill children. They do incredible work, and all of us can help them in their mission in some way.
Tonight, as I’m writing this post, I’m sitting in a hotel room in Las Vegas, tired following an amazing, three-day writing conference, where I was surrounded by like-minded authors and amazing presenters. It felt surreal to be part of something like this. And to think it all started out with a simple wish—to write a book.
My hotel room looks over the courtyard below, and a few times each night, they offer a light and water show at the waterfalls. The first night I heard it, I couldn’t figure out why something that sounded like a soundtrack from a Disney movie was playing so loudly outside my window. When I peeked out my curtain, I was delighted at the spectacle below. Much like the feeling you get if you let the little kid in you come out and play during a visit to Disney World, there was a little bit of magic in the air as I gazed upon the show and enjoyed the music.
I would never have guessed when I told a group of girlfriends more than ten years ago that I wished I could write a book someday, that I’d be standing here tonight, my head filled with fabulous ideas and inspiration.
It always starts with a wish.
Last week I launched my fourth book. If you’ve read it, you know wishes, both old and new, are weaved throughout the story line. It’s a holiday book, and there is no better time than the holidays to take a break from the craziness of life, sit quietly, maybe stare into twinkling Christmas lights, and let your mind wander. Think back to Christmases of your childhood. What did you wish for?
Spend some time with your memories. Then, come back to today. Would you still wish for the same things? Or maybe life has given you new dreams and wishes.
As we celebrate the holidays with family and friends in the coming weeks and months, it’s the perfect time to dust off our wishes, as we did when we were kids.
Remember those wishes or find new ones, and now that we are all grown up, maybe it’s finally time to do something about them. The calendar will soon flip over to the year 2020, the perfect time to focus on finally achieving some of those wishes and dreams. Make it happen.
Always cheering you on, Kim
Kimberly Diede Author
Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! My name is Kimberly Diede and I'm a fiction author and family girl. When time permits, I am happiest with a great cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other. I love to alternate between reading and writing. Winters here can be long, dark and cold. Summers are unpredictable, lovely and always too short. Every season of the year, as in every season of life, is a gift. Let's celebrate it together!