A holiday wish can be anything - from simple to profound. Some people wish for presents. Others want to see family. Some want peace on earth.
Mike Bradley wishes that happiness would spread this holiday season.
"I wish my smile passes on to others," he said, grinning. "Everybody is so busy this time of year, they don't have time for the little things. We're so frustrated trying to get all the shopping done, we forget what the season is all about."
Ashton Boyson, 13 months, left,
didn’t say what he wished for this
season, but he did seem very eager
to get his hands
on these candy cane decorations
in the Crossroads Mall.
Bradley was at the Crossroads Mall Sunday, selling last minute gift items.
People prefer to concentrate on good things during the holidays, Bradley said, but for anyone who has suffered a loss, it's the sorrow that stands out.
He gave an example: A friend told him a house fire in Sioux Falls, S.D., claimed three children's lives.
Bradley said, "My wish is for the peace of Christ to come on everybody."
Ann Boysen, of Pocahontas, wants peace too. To be more specific, she wants "peace in the United States," she said.
"Peace everywhere. For all our children to be safe."
Children were on the minds of Dustin Fehr and Heather Ice, of Whittemore, too.
"That my family stays safe," Fehr said.
"That the people in Connecticut - I don't know how to say it - that they are safe and doing good," Ice said.
Linda Girres, of West Bend, wished for good health and peace.
What does peace look like?
"No wars, you know. That countries would get along," she said. "And good health for everybody, and all my relatives."
Family figured strongly into the holiday wishes for Clare Flattery, 16, of Fort Dodge.
"I'm excited for our family reunion on Christmas day," Flattery said. "I have a huge family, and we're all going to see my Grandma and stuff."
She added, "Somebody's coming all the way from Africa to visit."
Of course, for many people a Christmas wish conjures thoughts of presents - though not always expected ones.
"Bedsheets," said Brooke Anderson, 16, of Livermore. "I've had my bedsheets since I was little and I want new ones."
Kassie Bruhnke and Rachel Wason, both 16, said they wanted new phones for Christmas.
"I want an iPhone, because all the phones I've had have broken or not worked," Bruhnke said.
As far as other wishes, Bruhnke and Anderson, who were wrapping gifts at the Girl Scout Troop 217 table in the mall, agreed they would love to see One Direction in concert.
"That," said Anderson, "would be awesome."