What do you want for Christmas?
Sometimes I feel like I’m not very good at Christmas. The true meaning stuff—Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Angels, and shepherds—I have down pretty well. It’s the other stuff like presents and decorating where I feel I fall short. It’s especially hard when I’m asked the question, “what do you want for Christmas?” I never know what to say.
When you’re very young, answering this question is easy. You just list every toy you’ve ever seen in a commercial, heard your friends talk about, or read about in a book. You have no hesitation in shooting for the moon, “this year, I want a rocket ship to fly me to candy island where I get to ride ponies and pick out my very own puppy.” As you get older you get more realistic and learn to prioritize so you push for the one thing you want the most rather than giving a list of options.
Now that I’m an adult I never know what to say, if there is something that I really want or need I just go and buy it myself. My Christmas list devolves into things I happen to need in December. “Dear Santa, I guess this year I want some windshield wipers and a new pair of snow boots.” It doesn’t have the same excitement it did when your day was made by playing with the box of the toy your parents scoured five different stores to find.
Don’t get me wrong there are still mind-blowing, thoughtful gifts that we can get from our loved ones, but the real joy is found in the giving. Every once in a while, you get to experience giving someone the perfect gift. The look on their face is worth any trouble you went to, to find it. It doesn’t even need to be a thing. This year I’m surprising my Mom by showing up out of the blue on Christmas Eve. (She may have just found out).
Near the end of the year grace and peace seem to permeate even the hardest of hearts. We take are able to step back and can be happy because those around us are happy. This is the Biblical meaning of Christmas. Everything goes back to giving. God gave us His son, Jesus, and Jesus would give his life for our salvation.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”
This year give cheerfully