What “I” want for Christmas
To me there is a disturbing trend in children and adults when it comes to gift giving. Sure it’s the season of giving and thus it makes sense to ask people what they would like to receive. No one really likes getting things they really didn’t want or ask for. We recoil when we open a big box only to find socks inside. Some fake a smile and gentle, “thank you” while sulking on the inside. Others populate America’s Funniest Home Videos, when someone actually lashes out over an unwanted gift. It’s a selfish attitude to be unthankful of gifts received that are said to be something we “needed.” The concept of asking someone what they would like for Christmas has turned into demand. Children turn from believing in Santa when they do not get what they want. The threat has carried over into Christianity. Some make requests or demands of God with the same threat of unbelief if they do get what they want.
My point is that we forget, as sinners, that we did not get want we wanted, but instead got exactly what we needed in order to be justified before God. We should be thankful for anything we get, but especially those gifts that we maybe didn’t ask for, but needed. These thoughtful gifts have something of the Christian message behind them. As sinners we might ask of God for things like health, wealth and happiness, and think that these things only exist in the forms of things we use. God calls us away from such things and thoughts to that which we need to live before Him in eternal righteousness and holiness. In this I would hope that we might pray and think long and hard about the things we want for Christmas, the things we get for Christmas, and the things we buy for others. We should remember in the giving and receiving of those “needed” items and even the unasked for gracious items, that the gifts of God are not according to what we deserve or sometimes want, but according to His mercy and grace. May we be thankful for getting anything this year, and even gracious and unembarrassed about what we can give.