I am part of a group who agreed to a gift giving plan this Christmas in which we suggest to each other three things we would like for Christmas. I suspect you may have encountered this approach to Christmas gift giving yourself.
It’s not that I don’t want gifts! But it is hard to make suggestions, it feels funny and oddly uncomfortable. I’m having a hard time naming my three things because I keep thinking of really BIG things like an end to the war in Syria, a ban on assault weapons, or that Donald Trump would drop out of the presidential race.
Jesus says in Luke 11:10, “For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” What I really want is a peaceful and happy celebration of Jesus’ birthday. So dear God, taking Jesus’ words to heart, here are three things I want for Christmas:
Gift 1. GRATITUDE: God, help me to appreciate the people I love and care about. Help me to be more mindful of their place in your world, their generosity and kindness. Remind me how much I am a better person because of them and remind me to offer a “thank you” to them that comes from the heart.
Gift 2. QUIET
MOMENTS: The pace of Christmas is too fast and demanding, so dear God, please slow me down so I can enjoy the pleasure of your company. Help me to notice you more often in my encounters with others. Help me to unplug and breathe deeply.
Gift 3. COURAGE: The courage to make this Christmas Season a truly happy and peaceful time. Dear God, help me to say “no thank you” when I need to say no, to regroup and to refocus when the demands of this Season seem overwhelming and I feel unsettled and unsure. Help me be a peaceful person and a peaceful presence to others. It takes courage to keep your cool in stressful times, so dear God, give me the courage to maintain an inner focus on what really matters and let go of the rest.
To be honest, a new iPad would be really nice, but I would rather focus on making my holidays a more peaceful and happy time because I know God knows what I need the most.
What do you want for Christmas?