Dear Santa,

I’ll be honest. This year has been tough here near home and out in the world in general. Some days it feels like the world will never be at peace. There’s too much hidden underneath, too much hatred and misunderstanding, too much anger. The TV is filled with bad news, stories of people hurting each other, and sadness.

I know my kids have their minds set on those sonic screwdrivers but could I slip in a few requests of my own?

When you slip or repel or spelunk or whatever you do down our chimney, could you please bring my kids compassion? It might be hard to imagine them putting themselves in someone else’s shoes once you’ve seen them go at each other over the middle inch of the back seat, but my wish for them is to be able to see injustice. Please bring them the ability to look beyond their own lives and reach out to the world around them. Let the kid in the corner who feels left out catch their eye. Let hateful words stand out as wrong when they reach my kids’ ears.

To go with compassion, could you throw in a pack of courage? I’m not talking about the sheer nerve it takes to ask for dessert for the thousandth time or to wake me up at 5 am on Saturday. I know I can be a bit ferocious but they will need true courage to change the world. The kind that stands up to wrong and works to make a difference. I’m not asking for a Nobel Peace Prize or a Lifetime movie made about them. Just a responsible citizen that isn’t afraid to do the right thing.

Now, I know I’ve asked for a lot, but it seems like a bit a of burden to lay so much on my kiddos, so I need to ask for one more gift under our tree. Could you please give them hope to see past the dark and into the good that could be? I want them to feel hope that world can be a better place. I want them to know that their actions will make a difference. To be encouraged by the little things in the assurance that they will add up to a brighter future.

Ask my kids and  odds are that they’d still prefer the screwdriver, but moms around the world will probably agree that a generation of compassionate and courageous children can only mean good for us all. We’ll do our best to raise them that way, but no one is going to complain if you feel like giving us a little help.

Good luck with your deliveries and easy on the cookies!

A Grateful Mom