Another year passes and I’m another year older, and I realize that the things I want for Christmas cannot be bought.
This year I thought I’d put into words, like I often do when I can’t seem to do anything else, and write my grown up Christmas list.
#1. To eliminate hate.
If I could spend a day with a stranger who is filled with such hate toward the things he does not know, I feel the world would be a better place. Because I could listen to his reasons, and he could listen to mine. And maybe, just maybe, we’d come out of our conversation with a new perspective. A more balanced and accepting perspective. A perspective where we come to an understanding, that I believe the things I believe–and he believes the things he believes. And we can coexist. And live in harmony. Because harmony is such a beautiful sound. And it makes things a little less boring, a little more bright, and things go a little smoother.
#2. To end this battle between right and wrong.
This idea of right or wrong is older than Jesus himself. Since the beginning of civilization, whenever that began, the “I’m right and you’re wrong.” battle started. It’s just within us to fight against others who don’t believe what we believe. And for some reason we are too stubborn to stop talking and start listening. Maybe if we could start listening to our neighbors, we’d have a better understanding as to why they do the things they do. Instead of putting up a wall between those we disagree with, maybe we could embrace them and thank them for their opinions. After all, life without opinions would be as dull as everyone having the same hairstyle or the same shoes or the same clothes or the same smile or the same…you get my point.
#3. To teach unconditional love by example.
I’ve always believed that if hate can be taught, then so can love. I believe that as human beings it is our job to spend more energy loving others instead of hating them. I would love it if we could find the good things about every person we meet in life and love them for those things, rather than stubbornly hate them for the things we don’t understand. Surprise people. Do something they wouldn’t expect from you. Show up at their house and give them a hug just because it’s a Wednesday. Send a quick text telling them that you miss them. Accept them for the people they are. And never doubt them, especially when they doubt themselves.
#4. To give and expect nothing in return.
So often I see people ready to do just about anything to serve. But other times I see people who will only give their time when there is something in it for them. Incentive is wonderful. It gets people motivated to do something. But I think they best ways to serve and get the full experience is when we do it, simply because we are willing and able to give. Even if it’s as simple as smiling at a homeless person, or as big as donating to a family in need. There is almost nothing better than giving simply just to give.
#5. To have everyone home for the holidays.
Sometimes we take for granted the many Christmas’ we’ve spent in the perfect atmosphere with the people we love ready to rip open the gifts under the tree. I think we forget that not everyone can be together for the holidays. Some people have a family member over seas serving this great country, and others have family members who are spending Christmas behind bars. Others can’t travel because the weather is bad, or they don’t have gas, or it’s simply just too far away. So although this one may be nearly impossible, just be thankful to be surrounded by those who join you on Christmas day. Because that’s the greatest Christmas gift. Flat screen TV’s and iPhones can be replaced. People can’t be.
Cherish this year with the things you do have and everything else is a bonus. That’s my grown up Christmas list.