50 wishes for my little sister.

1. The ability to fall in love with herself first.

All photos via iStock.


2. Many nights spent laughing so hard that she can barely catch her breath.

3. A few true friends who will never abandon her or try to change her.

4. Mentors to learn from who provide a remarkable amount of inspiration.

5. Patience to undergo life’s setbacks.

6. Determination to turn those setbacks into further motivation to follow her dreams.

7. Long car rides and plane trips to wondrous places that will open her eyes to the fascinating and incredible world we live in.

8. People to hold her when I am not there.

9. Late nights.

10. Big dreams.

11. Emotionally riveting experiences.

12. Opportunities to step outside her comfort zone.

13. The strength to stand by her convictions.

14. The bravery to overcome all of the fears and reservations that life will naturally work into her brain.

15. The chance to help others and truly touch the lives of the people in this world who need it most.

16. A few lucky guys along the way who will respect her, be honest with her, adore her, and make her smile.

17. Moments when she can feel invincible.

18. Night swims in the ocean.

19. Concerts that bring music into her chest and rattle her senses.

20. Kisses that make her heart stop.

21. Strong cups of coffee for the long days.

22. Tall glasses of wine for the hard days.

23. A career worth falling in love with.

24. The ability to see how powerful she is as a woman.

25. The understanding that she will always have family to fall back on when life seems to get out of control.

26. Plenty of sass.

27. Enough toughness to fight back and to always stand up for herself.

28. A true understanding of what beauty is and where it really exists.

29. Lots of pizza.

GIF via "Wayne's World"

30. Memories and crazy stories that last a lifetime.

31. A place or city that she can be completely enthralled with, where she can spend many of her days living in that magic.

32. A safe place to call home.

33. A multitude of girls’ nights spent out on the town turning heads — or curled up in pajamas watching Netflix with Ben & Jerry’s.

34. The fortitude to keep moving forward after a few idiots break her heart.

35. The fearlessness needed to fall in love again.

36. Enough cold days to make her appreciate the sunny ones.

37. The time and motivation to continue to indulge in all of her hobbies and interests.

38. People she can call when she is feeling lost (other than me, of course).

39. The wisdom to understand a greater purpose in life.

40. The belief that she never has to rush any stage of her life, and that she should be able to enjoy all of them for the wonders that they each possess.

41. Exposure to some of the world’s unique and time-honored displays of artistic splendor. May she read the greatest novels, witness the most acclaimed theatrical performances, and be moved by remarkable artwork. May she always appreciate their brilliance.

42. Immeasurable moments of pride that she can have in herself and in her accomplishments.

43. The faith needed to be able to sustain any religion of her choice that may give her a sense of purpose and love.

44. People who will teach her new ideas and constantly provide her with new perspectives.

45. Knowledge that intellectually challenges her and inspires a hunger for wisdom inside of her.

46. The wedding she has always dreamed of, which I am sure I will be personally aiding in the production of.

47. A man I can confidently say will love her forever and give her all she needs in this world. A man I can raise my glass to at that reception and give my baby sister away to, knowing that he will be a devoted husband and best friend to the most important thing I have in my life.

48. Little children that look just as beautiful as she is, with big sparkly eyes and hearts of pure gold. May her children grow to see the incredible woman they were blessed with, and go on to spread the amazing joy she will teach them.

49. May they have family movie nights, little soccer games, long days at the amusement parks, Christmas mornings awoken by screams of excitement, tear-filled graduations, and enough hugs and kisses to fill my sister’s heart. May they overcome the hard times and keep each other close. May she raise her children to love each other as much as I love her.

50. My lasting love. May she always understand that I will be here forever. I will be there when she moves into a crappy little apartment — to order pizza and eat it on the empty living room floor. I will be there to plan a ridiculous bachelorette party where we are way too loud and think tequila is a good choice. I will be there to toast to her marriage. I will be there sobbing as I hold my little niece or nephew with more love than I can even comprehend. I will be there when our kids are growing and we have to call each other and laugh at the ridiculous things they do. I will be there through career changes. I will be there as we grow old and start to develop smile lines from our years of laughter. I will be there when we have no one in our family left but the two of us.

I held her in my arms the day she was born, and I will hold her forever. That is my final wish and promise for my remarkable little sister.

This is for all of the sisters out there who are loving and hoping for each other. Sometimes we forget to remind our sisters that we are constantly dreaming for them and for the beautiful life they deserve.

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Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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