I’m very proud of my sons, Chris and Craig. Jeannie certainly had something to do with their success, but she’ll have to write her own blog. For the purposes of these paragraphs, they’re my sons.
Some years ago, the two of them came to me a few weeks before Christmas and told me they would get me anything I wanted for Christmas. I thought about it for a few minutes and then I told them, “You can’t give me what I want for Christmas.”
They were a little puzzled by my response. “What do you mean?” they asked me.
“Here’s what I mean,” I told them. “What I want for Christmas is for you to be four years old again. I want you sitting on both arms of my recliner with me holding you so close I can smell your hair. I want to hear you giggle uncontrollably the way you did when you were little boys. Just for one day, I want you to be four years old again.”
They didn’t understand what I meant. In fact, they were a little put off by my wanting to smell their hair. But every parent knows what I’m talking about. Who will ever forget the warmth of holding your child as they snuggled on your shoulder and smelling their hair?
I miss that. And as much as my sons love me, they can’t give me that for Christmas.
In fact, no one can buy me what I really want for Christmas. No store sells it.
I want another conversation with my dad. I want to hear my mom play the piano.
I want time with my wife. I want long stretches of time that are uninterrupted by cell phones or cut short because I have to get up early the next day. I want to see the sparkle in her eyes like when we thought life would go on forever. Before we knew better…before life happened.
I want to get the guys back together. I want to drop the tailgate of the pickup, and hang out by the lake with Lynyrd Skynyrd turned up way too loud. (Hey, I’m from the South. Get over it.) I want to run a joke way too long with these guys. I want to dream outrageous dreams again, believing with them that anything was possible. Before we all grew up. Before we gave up our dreams to simply make a living.
I want dragons to slay, mysteries to solve, and adventures to follow. I want impossible quests and giants to face. I want treasures to hunt for and majestic mountains to climb. I want my adrenaline to race again like it did before I settled for what is “doable.”
I don’t want any more ties or cups with my name on them. I don’t want any more socks, shirts, or Bible verses laminated on pieces of wood. I don’t want to unwrap more and more stuff that I’ll end up taking to Goodwill in a few years.
I want life with a capital “L.” I want miracles you can’t explain and love you can’t describe. I want to laugh in the face of death and know that what I’m doing with my life won’t be buried under the dust of time.
In short, what I want for Christmas is everything Christ came to bring us. Life that is worth living. A life without regrets or shame. Christ came to bring us into His kingdom’s work, calling us to join Him in redeeming the world under His Lordship. Through Christ, we’re made citizens of a kingdom that will never end.
Year after year, we come to this Christmas moment and we settle for stuff. We pile up boxes on top of boxes, longing for these things to make us happy. They can’t. They haven’t. They won’t.
I want more than that for Christmas. I want all that Christ promised, and I won’t settle for less. I hope you won’t either. Merry Christmas.