What if, instead of celebrating the gift of Jesus by exchanging gifts, we celebrated the life of Jesus by living life the way Jesus taught us?
What if, instead of improving the bottom lines of Big Business this gift-giving (and buying) season, we improved the lives of those most in need?
“What if,” as even the Grinch concluded, “Christmas, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!”
One of the first memories I have of deeply wanting something more for Christmas, more than presents, more than parties, more than bright lights hanging on a tree, happened when I was listening to Amy Grant’s “Grown Up Christmas Wish.”
“No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start,
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end.”
So, with not quite the poetry of the song, I give you my Grown Up Christmas List:
I want everyone to be loved deeply by someone…
And, I want them to know they are loved beyond any doubt.
Life is hard enough without feeling unloved.
I want the childhood lesson of sharing
To carry over into adulthood.
This would solve homelessness, hunger, and poverty in an instant.
I want the love of money and power
To be overcome with love for one another,
And a recognition of the value of every life.
I want each of us to see . . .
We are much more alike than different,
And, because of this, to always focus on our similarities.
I want there never to be another child
Who is made to feel
Forgotten, unwanted, unloved.
I want it to be impossible
To hide heartache behind a smile,
So that we can always know who to embrace.
I want those who are sick
To always be cared for,
And never have to worry about the cost of care.
I want us all to see
That life is the gift itself.
Not the stuff wrapped in pretty paper this season.
Not the money we earn.
Not the job we do.
Not the lifestyle we lead.
Not the treasures we store up.
Is a GIFT.
I want us to spent more time celebrating LIFE,
And less time struggling through it…
Struggling because we’ve been taught to believe
The “real” gift is . . .
I want Peace.
For our communities.
For the world.
I know it’s unrealistic.
But it is also beautiful.
And, I happen to believe that something that beautiful is worth wishing for, working towards, believing in.
And, that’s my Grown Up Christmas List.