Every year, around Thanksgiving, my mother asks me what I want for Christmas.

With each passing holiday season it becomes harder and harder to come up with ideas.

This year, while trying to dream up suggestions to avoid receiving anymore kitchen gadgets — no offense, Mom — I realized I am very lucky not to want anything other than what I’ve already received in nonmaterial gifts this year.

This year I received some of life’s best gifts.

I received a promotion to managing editor of Larson Newspapers’ three publications, a dream I’ve had since I was little girl.

Not too long after my promotion, another of my childhood dreams was fulfilled when I received quite possibly the best gift of all, a marriage proposal and a diamond ring from Mr. Right.

Along with the proposal came a wonderful family who has welcomed me with open arms and made me feel like one of their own on trips back East to visit them.

Aside from a job promotion, marriage proposal and family that tripled in size, I have many other gifts in my life that I am thankful for every day.

I have a mother, father, two sisters, future brother-in-law and niece I love very much.

I am healthy, active and young. I have good friends, some from further back than kindergarten.

I have two beautiful black labs, Zeke and Fletcher, to accompany me on any adventure.

I have a cozy home and someone wonderful to share it with.

I have a boss and staff who make my job enjoyable and extremely interesting.

I live in a beautiful area of the country with ample opportunity of any outdoor activity.

And, maybe most importantly, I am able to recognize my good fortune and want what I have rather than what I don’t, which is itself a gift.

Merry Christmas