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A Christmas list
Not all gifts can fit into a stocking
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 When we are young, we make our Christmas lists. We give them to mom and dad, or we sit on Santa’s lap and recite it to him.

Then, we go home in anticipation, hoping that bicycle, BB gun, cell phone or whatever is wrapped under the Christmas tree. As we get older, what we want changes as our belief in Santa wanes.

Nonetheless, we continue to ask for Christmas presents. And, we are continually excited to see the look in someone’s eyes when they unwrap that special gift.

Perhaps the links between giving gifts and the true heart of the season have been lost over time, but it is a strong tradition. 

So, here are some suggestions. They aren’t bikes or toys and they won’t fit into a stocking, but they would make our lives brighter.

First, unity.

We have come through a divisive, grueling presidential election. This didn’t divide Americans, it only exacerbated fractures that already existed.

This has always been a nation made up of many different people and many differing ideas. That has been, and will continue to be, its greatest strength. 

Somehow, these varying points of view have found their way into the fabric of America. There have always been periods of unrest and uncertainty, but they fade.

We are all Americans. On that, at least, we can agree.

Second, civility.

Somehow this has gotten lost. We saw a lack of it during the presidential race, the First Congressional District campaign, in the Kansas Legislature and, most recently, during a local city council meeting.

Tact, restraint, patience and tolerance are all key components of leadership. Those we chose to represent us at all levels of government should take these to heart.

Lastly, gratitude.

Businesses help bring gifts to the needy. City and county personnel brave the cold to keep or roads clear and safe. Volunteers fan out into our community to help feed the hungry.

These are just a few of the countless examples of the behind-the-scenes activities that go on to keep our little world functioning smoothly. No, these folks don’t always do things the way all of us want them done, but they do what they can with what they have.

So, as we see Christmas 2016 pass, let us wish for what really matters.

Merry Christmas.

Dale Hogg