As a father of two elementary school age children, I found the survey responses posted here to be absolute gold. Anne E. Moncure elementary school students aged 6 to 9 were asked what they would give the world this holiday season.

Some of the responses are hilarious (just look for the response from Franklin England), and of course many are very touching. What I found very interesting is that the responses seem to track very well with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

The viz above shows the top 100 gifts (by word count) mentioned by the 277 student respondents, and how these gifts could be categorized based on Maslow’s hierarchy (my attempt to categorize). It would seem that the collective responses of the students match very well with the pyramid.

More than anything else, kids wish to fulfill people’s most basic needs such as food, water and shelter. The frequency decreases as you move up the pyramid.

Did you think the wish list generated by the kids would be dominated by video games and the most popular toys? I did. Obviously, my kids didn’t ask me for more clean water this holiday season, they asked me for toys. However, even at their young ages, they are attuned to the fact that many around the world don’t have enough to meet their basic necessities, and would want to give gifts that meet needs, not wants.

Wouldn’t it be great if more of us retained this desire into adulthood?

Happy Holidays!