Happy New Year! For a lot of people, a new year means lots of new wishes, hopes, and dreams for the future. It's a time to look forward and imagine all the good things that can happen to you, your friends, your family, and the world. We wanted to know about the things kids most wish for in 2006 (and even further into the future), so we asked kids to pick a wish for themselves, another person, and the world. The emails came pouring in, and we received a whole lot of great answers from more than 1,500 people!
A Wish for Yourself
From the results of the survey, it sounds like lots of kids think about similar things. Some of the most popular wishes were for pets, good grades, boyfriends, girlfriends, toys, money, cellphones, iPods, to be a singer, to win the lottery, and even more wishes. Hannah, 11, even combined two of these popular wishes into one wish: "To win the lottery and get a boyfriend!"
By far the most popular wish was for an animal of some kind. Many kids wished for pets - and not just dogs, cats, and horses. Taylor, 11, made a wish for "a chimpanzee" and Kristin, 12, wants "to have a pet ferret and a hamster." Amber, 9, said she'd like "a pony and a dolphin" and Aric, 9, wants his friend Matt to have "a werewolf." We hope Matt has a big litter box! Joe, 11, even sent us a rhyme with his wish. He said, "I wish for a fish!"
Other kids made a wish for their pet. Brook, 8, said, "I wish my dog would get a new dog bone" and Ciarra, 9, thought it would be cool to "get a dog for my dog to play with." Alana, 10, was concerned about her dog's health. She said she doesn't want her dog "to suffer so much since he's 105 in dog years." Elana, 10, made a wish that her "pet crayfish will never die."
But for some kids, just owning a pet isn't enough. Billy, 11, and Paul, 6, went one step further. Billy wants "to be a fish" and Paul said, "I wish I was a chicken."
Besides wishing for a cuddly or not-so-cuddly pet to call their own, many kids were thinking about the future, from getting good grades to getting into college to starting an exciting career. Joshua, 11, made a wish to "receive straight A's on my report card forever" and Sivaranjani, 12, wishes "to get first rank in my studies." Khadija, 12, said she wants to "achieve more in exams and be a responsible girl." Yun Rhou, 10, made a wish to "pass my examination with flying colors" and hopes Jin Ling passes with flying colors too - but, Yun Rhou says, "not higher than me."
Lots of kids thought about what they want to do when they grow up. Hasina, 11, made a wish to become a famous doctor and "open up a hospital of my own and consult poor people free of charge." Hannah, 9, made a wish to be "a successful artist, musician, writer, etc." and Alyssa, 9, has set herself a goal: "I wish to be a rock star by the time I turn 14."
A Wish for Another Person
From friends and family to people around the world in need of some help and comfort, lots and lots of kids made very kind and thoughtful wishes for others. Brigette, 10, wished that "everyone could be happy, live happy, and have a happy life, especially the poor. They need it more than I need anything." Tiffany, 8, made her wish for the people affected by Hurricane Katrina. She said, "My wish for them is that they will get their homes back soon!"
Many kids made a wish for a relative in Iraq. Amanda, 10, made a wish for Mommy that "she would come back from Iraq in early February." Leyna, 11, said "I wish my brother would come home safely from Iraq because I love him" and Kristen, 12, wished that her cousin John John "will stay home from Iraq and never have to go overseas again." Leyna says John John has been over to Iraq three times already.
Other kids made wishes for people who are sick or having a tough time. Charlotte, 10, made a wish for her grandmother. She wished that "her back cancer will go way so we can do things together and she won't hurt anymore." Maisha, 11, made a wish that Alexandra "will get better" and Ellen, 12, made a wish for her mom "to heal and get better really, really soon."
Lots of kids made wishes for friends and family. Abbi, 12, made a wish for her sister: "I wish she lives a healthy, happy life and does well in nursery school because she's my sister and I love her" and Kaitlyn, 10, offered her friends and family a "happy and healthy life because they deserve (it), especially because they are already perfect to me."
Elisabeth, 12, made a wish for her friend Lucy: "I wish that Lucy would see herself as beautiful as she really is." Vivian, 12, wants her mom's "life to get better (through) something really good." She says she made this wish because "I love my mom and she is the only one I really look up to." And Kayla used her wish on her dad. She said, "I wish my dad passes engineering school and that he isn't as stressed in the New Year."
A Wish for the World
Kids were definitely in agreement on this one. Mostly everyone wished for no more wars, more peace, an end to violence, no pollution, no hunger or famine, no more poverty, and respect for one another. Taylor, 11, got right to the point by saying it this way: "No more meany heads, etc."
One of the main issues on kids' minds was war. Dejone, 12, said, "I wish the world would be more peaceful and all the disasters would stop happening and the troops will come home safely." Jessica, 10, wants the world to be "joyful, no more wars - 'cause I'm sick of all the fighting." And Maddie, 11, wants an end to "abusing and killing" because she "sees too much of it in the paper, magazines, and on the news and it bothers me."
Iombe, 10, wants peace for the world too, but also wishes for "no racism." Meme, 6, wishes that "everybody in the world never makes fun of skin and color" and Woody, 8, wants "everyone in the world to be friends."
Many people like Harriet, 10, wanted "an end to poverty and famine." Hannah, 11, wants an end to poverty in the world "because this is one of the steps to stopping wars." Linn, 9, wishes to "save poor children" because "when I go outside, I see many poor children in my country."
Like lots of kids, Tayla, 10, wants everyone to help make the world a better place. She says that helping the world can start with the little things: "I am wishing people could volunteer more, lend a hand with this or that. I mean just like helping someone carry groceries or cleaning up a park - just little things like that help a lot." Stephanie, 12, also thinks it's a great idea to lend a hand: "It's tough enough now what an average person goes through (the stress and despair). Let's try and take a little weight off our fellow brother or sister's back."
Our Wish for You
We received a lot of great wishes from everybody who participated in our Three Wishes survey. One of our wishes was that we could print every single one, but our main wish is good health and happiness to everyone around the world. Thanks again for writing to us and we hope all of your wishes come true in 2006!