Adults don’t often make wish lists, even if they’re feeling confident that Santa would characterize them as nice. But I have a friend who likes to say that “if you want something, you’ve gotta put it out into the universe.” Thought leaders in the self-help space (see: Deepak Chopra) would probably call this “manifesting.” I’m not typically prone to woo-woo philosophies—in fact, my pragmatism enjoys near-mythic status among those who know me—but as we entered the holiday season and began to wind down yet another challenging year, even I found myself wondering if there were any harm in this if-you-think-it-it-will-come notion.

On a crisp November day, I decided a little chat with the cosmos couldn’t hurt. My index of desirables wasn’t to be about me (although I could use some help with that novel I’ve been wanting to write). Instead, I would focus my good juju on the issues I’d encountered—and lain awake thinking about—as a journalist and editor in Colorado over the past year. And so, as I sat in my backyard and watched the leaves fall, I came up with the following requests.

I would love it, I said to no one in particular, if those made lonely by the isolation of the pandemic could find the outstretched hand of a friend. If Marshall fire survivors could get the support they still desperately need, nearly a year later. If Colorado’s underrepresented voices could more frequently find welcoming audiences. If we could all sacrifice just a little comfort and convenience—and the almighty dollar—to protect our state’s natural beauty. If we could simultaneously recognize the root causes of crime and address the state’s sharply rising rates. If leaders could put in place smart policies that mitigate Colorado’s housing crisis. If Coloradans could stand up to safeguard the rights we believe we are afforded as Americans. And, maybe most important, if we could all treat each other with kindness and dignity, even when we disagree.

My short list is a tall order. But, hey, I’ve put it out there now. Maybe the powers that be will answer. If not, I probably still have time to send a letter to old Saint Nick.