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Family Talk: A grown-up Christmas list

Grown-up Christmas wishes sometimes move beyond gift-wrapped presents under the tree. [THINKSTOCK PHOTO]

Grown-up Christmas wishes sometimes move beyond gift-wrapped presents under the tree. [THINKSTOCK PHOTO]

Every family approaches Christmas lists a little differently. Some families never make lists and whatever presents are received on Christmas morning are a surprise (and often returned!). Other families, like ours, make detailed and specific lists, complete with pictures of the desired item, clipped from a catalog, with color and size circled.

Over the years, I'm sure the types of items on your Christmas list have changed. In my younger days, my list was lined with toys and outdoor sports items. When I was an 8-year-old, I put a sled on my list and was disappointed Christmas morning when, after unwrapping all the gifts, no sled appeared. Then Dad feigned forgetfulness and said, “Oh, I almost forgot. I think you have one more gift in the next room!” There was the sled. The best gift ever.

Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy receiving gifts whether they are on my list or not. But I have a new Christmas list now. I found it in this “letter to Santa” song that Amy Grant wrote:

Do you remember me? I sat upon your knee. I wrote to you with childhood fantasies. Well, I'm all grown-up now, And still need help somehow. I'm not a child but my heart still can dream. So here's my lifelong wish, My grown-up Christmas list, Not for myself, But for a world in need: No more lives torn apart, That wars would never start, And time would heal all hearts. Everyone would have a friend, And right would always win, And love would never end This is my grown-up Christmas list.

This is my new Christmas list and, if you think about it, I'll bet it's yours, too. You can work on making this Christmas list a reality. In your family. In your corner of the world. Starting today.

Jim Priest is CEO of Sunbeam Family Services and can be reached at jpriest@sunbeamfamilyservices.org.

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<p><span class="bold">Jim Priest</span></p>

Jim Priest

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-cbff67b72747913dbe9dd84836285693.jpg" alt="Photo - Jim Priest " title=" Jim Priest "><figcaption> Jim Priest </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7aa06a5ebd051dbfd65d4e2550317dde.jpg" alt="Photo - Grown-up Christmas wishes sometimes move beyond gift-wrapped presents under the tree. [THINKSTOCK PHOTO] " title=" Grown-up Christmas wishes sometimes move beyond gift-wrapped presents under the tree. [THINKSTOCK PHOTO] "><figcaption> Grown-up Christmas wishes sometimes move beyond gift-wrapped presents under the tree. [THINKSTOCK PHOTO] </figcaption></figure>
Jim Priest

Jim Priest is the CEO of Sunbeam Family Services, a 108-year-old nonprofit that provides a range of social services to support Oklahoma's most vulnerable people, including early childhood education, counseling, foster care and senior services. Jim... Read more ›

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