Christmas is my favorite time of the year. It always has been, I remember as a kid impatiently waiting each year. It seemed that the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas lasted for months. Now that same period of time passes in a moment. One of the things I did each year as a kid was to make my wish list. Since then I have realized Christmas is more about giving and there is only one Christmas gift that really matters. That is why I have written a Christmas wish list of things I want each of you to find.
1. Passion for your job. As many of you know farming and ranching is my passion. I love growing the food that feeds each of you, my hope is that you find that all-consuming meaning in your work.
2. Love for your family. If there is anything coming between you and any member of your family, please take this time of the year to fix it. Life is but a fleeting moment and you may not have that chance. Never leave anything unsaid. I cannot imagine my life without my family.
3. Time for friends. I hope each of you are blessed with a wonderful collection of friends like I am. Each friend gives us a different gift and we need to remember not to be too busy to stop and take time to enjoy their gift of friendship. It takes only a moment and nothing you have to do is more important than our relationships.
4. Blessing of our birth. We are so blessed to be born in a nation of freedom, a place where opportunity is our right and we can pursue our passions. I am reminded of this each time I spend a day in the Flint Hills in my United States.
5. Cherish your spouse. I believe we each have a soul mate and once you find that person make sure they know how important they are. Make sure to let them know this each day. They are the ones that give your life meaning and fulfillment. I am nothing without my wife.
6. Celebrate Christ's Birth. Most of all, my wish for you is to truly appreciate that most important of all gifts we each have been given. God sent his only Son to earth so that each of us can be saved. It is your choice to accept and unwrap this gift. Once you do, you will appreciate the awesomeness of Christmas. Gone will be the commercialism, emptiness and the hollowness of possessions that often haunt Christmas for many people. In its place you will find joy, peace and hope.
That is my wish list for you, my friend. Christmas joy is not found in wrapping paper, lights, movies or any other material thing. Real Christmas joy is in knowing why we celebrate this day and learning to appreciate the blessing each of us have in our lives. Please, know that I pray that you will have a happy, blessed, truly meaningful Christmas.