“What do you want for Christmas?” Both before and after Thanksgiving, I’ve been confronted with this question. My answer? Well, there are a couple of art supplies I’ve been craving over the past few months, and a new set of pens would be nice, but I’m not too picky. I’ll like whatever you get me.
Following my bland response of “I don’t know” or “surprise me” comes an even worse command: “Well, then, make me a list.” Because that’s a better option, I suppose? Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t.
I’m a list-maker, myself… outside of lists about Christmas presents. I love writing them and I love scratching things off. They help me see everything at once and to re-prioritize what’s really important. As we phase out of Thanksgiving and into Advent, I can’t help but reflect on all the beautiful blessings I’ve been given… and all the places I still need to grow.
As we prepare for the coming of Christ during Advent, I think of this prayer: “we wait with joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.” Advent is a lot like preparing for a family gathering over the holidays: it’s a time of house-cleaning, tidying things up, rearranging the furniture and making space for our guests. During Advent, we make space in our lives, our hearts, for the greatest Guest of all.
As I make a mental list of all the things I’m thankful for and all the ways I want to grow in the next year, one final list-thought comes to mind: what does Jesus want from me this coming year?
Maybe it’s something concrete and tangible, like helping out with a service or charity program this year. Maybe it’s something less concrete but just as necessary, like reconciling with someone or reaching out to a friend or family member. Either way, it’s important to us to ask that question at the beginning of this preparation season:
“Jesus, what do you want from me for Christmas?”