I don’t know about you, but the Christmas season has a way of bringing out my best . . . and my worst. For example, in the midst of a joyous, festive party with family, I find myself consumed with self-centered thoughts.
Rather than worshiping Jesus, I almost begin to view myself as the reason for the season. All these festivities are about my happiness and joy, right?
While wish lists, Christmas parties, and traditions are fine and fun, I’m realizing that my heart needs a shift in focus. My Christmas wish list needs a total overhaul.
So I’m creating a whole new wish list. A list that ditches my desires and my wishes and my traditions. A wish list that isn’t interested in getting but in giving.
This wish list is actually more like a prayer list—and I’m so excited to share it with you! If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably failed a time or two at keeping your focus on Christ throughout the Christmas season. But this new list is a helpful tool to reorient our hearts in practical ways.
So set your current wish list aside, and let’s explore ten unexpected wishes for your Christmas list:
Wish #1: I wish for a joyful attitude.
It’s so easy to get bent out of shape about silly things during Christmas time. But instead of allowing disappointments to dictate your actions and attitudes, rejoice. Put on a joyful, patient attitude (Col. 3:12–15). Choose to be grateful instead of upset, and joy will be a natural overflow (1 Thess. 5:16–18).
Wish #2: I wish to be more others-focused.
There is no true joy in living to please ourselves. Instead of focusing on your desires this month, look for ways to bless, serve, and give to others (Phil. 2:1–11).
Wish #3: I wish for a giving heart.
Giving gifts we’ve purchased isn’t the only kind of giving we should do this Christmas season. The true and genuine heart of a giver will be revealed by the way we give our time, energy, attention, interest, and service. Choose to be a generous, patient, kind, loving giver!
Wish #4: I wish to love my siblings.
If God has placed you in a family with siblings, one of the best gifts you can give them this year is the gift of love. As simple as this sounds, our family members are often the people we neglect the most.
- Take time to invest in your siblings.
- Play a game with them.
- Talk to them.
- Build traditions with them.
- Speak kind words.
- Set aside your preferences for theirs.
- Love your siblings well.
Wish #5: I wish to serve my parents.
God put you in a family for a reason. Parents are usually very busy during the Christmas season and could really use your support and help. Give them the gift of serving without being asked.
- Do the dishes on your own.
- Offer to cook dinner on a busy night.
- Run errands for them.
- Take on tasks from their to-do lists instead of adding to them.
- Be a helper!
Wish #6: I wish to be flexible.
Flexibility is usually my downfall during the Christmas season! I want things to go according to my expectations. My prayer this year is that I would be flexible to go with the flow when it comes to plans. When things don’t go our way, or plans are suddenly changed to a less desirable option, let’s choose to be flexible and joyful anyway.
Wish #7: I wish to smile.
Nothing brightens a stranger’s day faster than a big, joy-filled smile. Give the gift of smiling this Christmas season. Say hello to people. Ask questions. Smile when you talk. Smile when you greet someone. Smile to the mailman and grocery clerk. Allow the love of Christ to be seen through your smile.
Wish #8: I wish to be encouraging.
Encouraging words, notes, letters, and text messages are some of the best ways to bring Christmas cheer to those around you. Make it a goal to encourage at least one person every day from now until Christmas. Use this time to tell your friends and family just how much you love them and how much they mean to you.
Wish #9: I wish to value people more than traditions.
Traditions are fun, but they’re not nearly as important as relationships. Strive to make your family feel more important to you than your Christmas traditions. Make fun memories while loving your people exceptionally well.
Wish #10: I wish to celebrate Jesus!
While this should go without saying, we can say it anyway. Celebrate Jesus this month! Take time to read and ponder the Christmas story in Luke. Listen to podcasts about the Christmas story, like this one. Worship Jesus! He is the reason we have hope on this earth.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. . . .
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this (Isa. 9:2, 6–7).
I’d love to hear from you.
- Have you caught yourself lost in a Sea of Self at Christmas?
- Out of the ten wishes, which one can you put into practice today?