There is no THING that I need this Christmas, and only a few THINGS I might put on a wish list: pants that reach my ankles, an apron, maybe a Wii fit. I'm sure your busy elves could make them, or head to mall and find them there, if that's easier.
But what I'd really like for Christmas, besides the always elusive world peace and 4 extra hours in a day, aren't things you can make in your workshop or buy at the big box stores. They aren't easily wrapped in shiny paper and topped with a bow. I'd like JOY this Christmas. I'd like GRACE this Christmas. I could go for an extra large serving of CONTENTMENT. And how about some LOVE and HOPE, while you're at it. Some FAITH would be nice, too.
I wish, Santa, that you could find a way to give those things to all the people you visit Christmas Eve. That you would slide down their chimney, eat the cookies on the plate, and leave in their place a heaping lot of joy, grace, contentment, love, hope and faith.
But now that I think about it, Santa, it seems to me that the very first Christmas those WERE the gifts that were given. To all of us through all the ages. That those gifts have already been given. But they are lost under the pile of THINGS... and not just the new things in shiny packages under the Christmas tree in December, but the things that fill our lives all year round. The things we use to push away these gifts. To ignore these gifts. To fill the hole that the lack of these gifts has left in our lives.
And so we write letters to you and tell you what we wish for. We long to believe in something so good, so steadfast and so generous as you Santa.
No offense, Santa, but you're a poor replacement for the original star of this show we call Christmas.
As I write this I'm starting to wonder how I might give these things to others for Christmas. I'm not sure I can wrap them up and hand them to them with a smile and a "Merry Christmas," but I'm pretty sure that I know some people who could use some love. And some grace. I definitely know some people who need hope. It won't be easy to hand it to them. It will take a little longer. It will take time and relationship and probably quite a lot of commitment on my part. It will cost more than I'm used to spending, and not necessarily in dollars. It won't end on December 25th. But it will be a gift that keeps on giving.
And Santa? For me? I think that maybe writing this letter was your gift to me. Thanks for the reminder.
I wish you joy, grace, contentment, love, hope and faith. Merry Christmas!
This post is a Monday Mission. This week's Mission is to write a post in the style of a letter to Santa. Have fun! If you play along, post a link in the widget below:
*No Mission next week! See you in 2009 with a new slate of Missions.