An example of how to make a wish list. A miniature, silver sleigh filled with cards to write your wish on and mail them to Santa.
While visiting the aquarium in Newport, Kentucky, I found a wish-making station. The kid in me added some wishes to the bubbles for my holiday wish list. Since it was an aquarium, the bubbles reminded me of the old saying, "If wishes were fishes, we'd all have riches." Nearby was a mailbox for Santa.

How to make a wish list

3 easy steps

A wish list is a bunch of dreams that you want to make real, and the holiday season is a great time to make one. A wish list is similar to a bucket list with one big difference — a wish list is filled with wishes (dreams) for other people. Here are three easy steps to make a wish list for the holidays. And below you’ll find 10 more inspirational ideas to add to your holiday wish list.  

  1. Start by writing down all your own dreams. Think big — be a wishful thinker. We don’t want to limit ourselves at this time. (We can worry about how to make it real later.)
  2. If you finished step 1, we bet your list is full of material things, like a new game or toy. That’s great, but have you thought of any experiences you might like to have? Some people believe experiences are even better! So, try writing down things you can do, like making a home-cooked meal with your family or visiting a museum you’ve never been to. Again, don’t limit yourself. If you want to fly a plane, write that down. You can take flying lessons later.
  3. Finally, write down gifts or experiences that you want to give other people. Perhaps, the most famous example is wishing for world peace. That’s a big one! An example of a smaller wish might be to find a happy home for a pet at the animal shelter. And, since no one seems to like to do the dishes, why not give the gift of one month of clean dishes to your family?

Good luck. And send us a picture of your wish list. We love to see how you inspired the world. 

10 wishes everyone should add to their wish list

We don’t like to use the word “should” but in this case, consider it good advice based on years of experience.

A bucket with the word "Dreams" inside.
Another type of wish list is a bucket list. We’ve made it easy. With our Bucket List Notepad, you can write down your dreams and pin them anywhere or give a few sheets to a friend.

1. Good health.

We rank health as the number one priority. A healthy body and a healthy attitude are the foundation of living your dream. So, wish yourself good health.

2. Good health for others.

Health is essential for everyone, especially your friends and family. But, of course, strangers are friends you’ve just never met. So, wishing them good health, too, is just as important. If you think about it, strangers are the people who build our roads or grow our food or help us when we get lost, so we wish everyone good health.

3. Peace, love and happiness.

Peace, love and happiness may be the three things people wish for the most. It’s so common, that you’ll often hear people wish for all three at the same time. Basically, people are wishing for a healthy attitude like we listed above, but it is so important and so popular that it’s worth listing again.

4. Peace, love and happiness for others.

You can see where we are going with this list. Everything you wish for, you can also wish for other people. It’s nice not to be selfish, but we’re not just being nice wishing happiness for everyone. Imagine how great the world would be if everyone were happy. People would be living their dreams and inventing amazing things that we could all benefit from.

When it comes to peace, why not include everything? Why not plants and animals and good weather? Why not wish for world peace? Sure, someone might say you’re being too idealistic, but you have to start somewhere! Why not start with yourself?

5. Opportunities for yourself.

You may have heard people wish for “Health, Wealth and Happiness.” It’s a nice-sounding sentence, and it covers the whole spectrum of wishes. We’ve already covered health and happiness, but what about wealth? It may seem that we already live in a world that is too materialistic. (Who needs more plastic?) So, what if, instead of getting paid in money, instead of making money your measure of success, what if you measured your success by opportunities? For example, let’s say that instead of getting paid in gold coins, you got paid in home-cooked meals. Wouldn’t that be better than taking your gold coins to the store, buying groceries, going home, finding a recipe, cooking and then washing all the dishes? Another analogy would be that opportunities are like buying the chicken instead of the eggs.

6. Opportunities for others.

Once again, imagine if the whole world had more opportunities. It’s like getting free dreams. I know we’re repeating ourselves, but if everyone gets to live their dream, we all get to benefit. Where would we be if no one had invented airplanes, computers, phones, games, chocolate… Name your favorite thing, you would have to risk living without it if you were the only one allowed to make a wish.

Okay, we ran out of ideas to make the nice round number of a top-10 list. Can you think of any more items that we should add to the list? If so, leave your wishes in the ideas below.

Dropping a wish for world peace into the mailbox for Santa
Dropping one of many wishes into the mailbox for Santa. I would love to read them all. Maybe I should apply for a job at the North Pole as chief wish list reader.

Mail your wish list to Santa

You can mail your letter to Operation Santa and one of Santa’s volunteers might write you back. This is a fun way to practice penmanship and letter writing, two skills that will never be old-fashioned.

Santa Claus
123 Elf Road
North Pole

A bucket with the word "Dreams" inside pictured here on a wooden table with a copper pen.

Bucket List Notepad

This can also double as a Wish List. You will never run out of room to dream with this inspirational Bucket List Notepad. Pin it to your Dream Board as a reminder or give a sheet to a friend. This full-color notepad is 4 x 5.5 inches and has 50 pages.

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