“Do we really have to do this?” My husband sounded a little annoyed.
“Well, it’s what we agreed to,” I said.
He sighed and explained that he just doesn’t like the idea of making a wish list for Christmas. “Where’s the fun in that?” he asked. “Then you know what you’re going to get.”
I admitted I could see his point, but at the same time, wish lists do make it easier for everyone to buy Christmas gifts that everyone really wants, avoiding disappointment. Or, as my dear son-in-law once put it, “No crap, please.”
And I knew what was behind my husband’s words. He couldn’t think of anything to put on his list! Gift buying and receiving does seem to be getting harder now that our kids are grown and we are in the stage of life where we’re starting to think of down-sizing. They seem to have almost everything they could ever possibly need or want and so do we. We have discussed the idea of not giving gifts at all, but that doesn’t really sit well with anyone. We all love giving and receiving.
But sometimes it can all seem like a chore.
Sometimes all those spiritual “disciplines” we are supposed to keep up with – going to church, praying, reading our Bible – can all seem like chores too, instead of things we want to do. Somehow we’ve lost the want to, lost the joy that used to be there.
So, what to do?
Maybe it’s time to put it all aside for a time, investigate the reason for it all. Why do we give gifts at Christmas? Because we love our family members and friends and want to show them how much we appreciate them. Maybe the place to start is not with a gift list of things but a list of those things we love about them.
Why do we go to church, pray and read our Bible? Because we love Jesus and want to allow His love to flow through us. Maybe the place to start isn’t with a spiritual to-do list but with a true appreciation for the Giver of all gifts.
Maybe it’s time to look behind all the tinsel and toys too, and grasp once again the astounding love of a God who would leave all His power and position behind to become a small helpless babe wrapped in swaddling cloths.
Maybe that alone would bring all the joy and ‘want-to’ back, not only to the Christmas season, but to our very lives.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6)