In 1992, Amy Grant recorded a song, “Grown-up Christmas list,” which has become a holiday favorite for many people. In it, she recalls her youthful days of sitting on Santa’s knee and reciting her Christmas list. Now an adult, she calls on Santa once again, but this time, her Christmas list has “grown-up” things on it:
“No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown-up Christmas list.”
There is nothing on that list that I would not love to see. In fact, those lyrics seem to reflect the longing expressed, and the prediction made, in the Revelation of St. John:
“See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples; and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away (Revelation 21:3-4).”
I look forward to that day, but I have other things on my Christmas list for the meantime. A stocking full of these things would make life much more bearable while we are waiting for the end of days. I will grant you my list is not as lofty, but perhaps more within the reach of each of us.
I would like to see more smiles. Phyllis Diller described a smile as “a curve that sets everything straight.” They are cheap, readily available, come in many colors, and fit on every face. They are practical and beautiful for every occasion. Smiles when we least expect them or deserve them are especially disarming.
I would like to see more patience. I am known for testing the patience of those around me, so being surrounded by patient people would be a wonderful gift. Maybe it could be packaged like the “Easy” button we see on those Staples commercials. I could push it whenever I forgot what you just told me five minutes ago.
I would like to see more generosity. This is not as cheap as the smile, but just as infectious. Generosity changes the complexion of every problem I encounter and turns every mountain into a molehill. If it came in a plastic card, I could swipe it whenever needed, but it would make a credit to your account instead of a debit.
Next (this one I stole from Amy Grant’s Christmas list), I would like to see more love. Of course, love is the main ingredient in the other things on my list. But love is the chameleon gift, changing its hue to fit any occasion as needed. It may show up as a smile, patience, generosity, or any number of things, depending on the circumstances. Love really is the greatest gift.
Most of all, and here’s the big one. Are you ready? I would like to see all of the above manifested in my own life, for the sake of others. For this request, I’m going to have to go over Santa’s head and ask his boss.