Friday, December 16, 2011

My Grown Up Christmas List

There is no denying that as we grow up (or at least older- as Jimmy Buffet once sang "I'm growing older, but not up...") Christmas loses some of its magic.  The wonder we feel as children when told the stories of Santa, the reindeer, the elves and the sleigh full of toys is seldom replicated in our adult lives.  The restless nights on Christmas Eve as we strain to here jingle bells or hooves on our rooftops.  The mad dash to the tree on Christmas morning to see what is there for us.  There is a sense of awe and wonder, a true feeling of belief in something, that makes Christmas magical for children.  They may know that the holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus...but it is Santa in whom they truly BELIEVE!!!

This year, I am determined to recover that sense of awe and wonder.  I have every intention of filling my heart with the joy and amazement of Christmas.  All it takes is to truly believe in something- or someone.  And that someone is Jesus.  This time of year we often hear the birth stories of the Christ, but do we really let them soak in?  Do we really believe?  Is it harder to believe that a jolly old fat man brings presents to all the children of the world, or that God sent His only Son as the gift of salvation for all the world?  Is it more difficult to believe in flying reindeer, or a star that guided wise men from hundreds of miles away over a period of several years?  In either case, belief comes from faith.  When we are children, our belief in Santa Claus is what drives the spirit of the Christmas season.  As adults, it is our faith in Jesus that must fill our hearts if we are to experience the true spirit of Christmas.

It would not be Christmas around the Jones' home without the music of Amy Grant.  This year, one particular song has been stuck in my head- My Grown Up Christmas List.  You may know it better as sung by Kelly Clarkson or Michael Buble, but for me it will always be Amy's song. The song is a prayer that the world may find true peace and real joy. I have been talking with a growing number of friends over the past few months who have been telling me stories of feeling emotionally beaten up by life.  Spouses have let them down.  They worry for their children and the world they are growing up in.  Financial strife is taking a huge toll on their lives and families.  People- including people I really love- are hurting.  And the more we hurt, the more difficult it becomes to maintain a faith that gives us the joy we so need at Christmas.  People- even people of faith- begin to ask, "Where is God in this mess?" So this year, as I seek to refill my soul with the joy and wonder of this season, my grown up Christmas list has become quite simple.  I will pray for the healing love and the joy of Jesus Christ to overwhelm the lives of those who are seeking relief from these pressures.  I will pray that we may all find peace in the arms of the Prince of Peace.  I will pray for all of us to become a people that believe as strongly in the Babe of Bethlehem as we used to believe in Santa.  I don't have money; I don't have material things I can give to my friends.  I do have time, and this Christmas I intend to spend a little less time around the tree and a little more time on my knees.  I hope you will join me.  Our world needs Jesus.  Enjoy the song.


  1. I, too, love this song, Carl!
    Between hearing this song and the one by Stevie Wonder, "Someday at Chrustmas", on the radio early in the season- and being a little obsessed with "A Charlie Brown Christmas"- I have tried to keep the messages of those songs and that wonderful little cartoon as my themes for the season!
    Glory to God on the highest!
    Blessings to you and yours, Carl!

  2. Thanks, Lisa! I hope you, Dan and the fam have a wonderful Christmas. And there is not a thing wrong with being obsessed with "A Charlie Brown Christmas." We could all do much worse!


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