All I want for Christmas is my two-car garage, twin-engine outboard, double-barrel shotgun, and just about anything that will double my pleasure and double my fun.
Christmas is a lot of fun. Younger children think about all of the fun things they’ll get. Older children tend to think about all of the fun times they’ve had. Christmas is a time for memories: looking back with signs of satisfaction and some longing, and looking ahead to all of the precious moments to be made. And it’s always the right time to pause with Mary, focus heart and mind and soul on Jesus as the reason for the season, and softly sing as we pray, “My soul glories the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
When I think about Christmas, I remember my grandparents driving in from New York City to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
I remember popcorn balls. I love popcorn balls. And around this time of the year, I always sneak off to buy a half dozen and eat them all by myself! Everybody has her or his own Christmas tradition!
I remember searching through the house for Santa’s stash.
And I remember that special book which my family — along with every other family — kept so prominently displayed in preparation for the big day. Every family had one. And every family cherished it, adored it, and searched its pages to fill the holiday with meaning. No, I’m not talking about the Bible. I’m talking about the Sears Christmas Catalog!
My parents struggled in those days. And when it came to Christmas, we celebrated it in the old-fashioned way — the Smith-Barney way: we earned it! But no matter how much we had or got, I never recall a bad Christmas because my family would always go to church on Christmas Eve to reopen the best gift of all: the good news of God coming in Jesus as the Babe of Bethlehem to provide an assurance of eternal life and the capability for confident living.
Around this time of the year, wonder, love, and praise fill my spirit. I think of fun things. I think of fun times. But most of all, I think of Jesus. Because of Jesus, I really enjoy thinking back and forth. Because of Jesus, I know those fun things and times are how His people have celebrated His birth into their lives. Because of Jesus, I’ll always have all I want for Christmas. Because of Jesus, we can softly sing as we pray, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
When I think about Christmas, snow comes to mind. I like snow. Every time it snows, I feel good. And I always like it when it snows on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, even if it’s just a flurry or two. Snow reminds me of God’s grace. Let me explain. When it snows, all of the potholes and ditches and dirt and garbage and scars of the world are covered. That reminds me of how God’s grace through faith in Jesus covers all of the potholes and ditches and dirt and garbage and scars of our lives. Of course, the snow melts and gets dirty and all of the potholes and ditches and garbage and scars are exposed again. But then it snows and covers them all over again. That’s why Christmas reminds me of snow. Jesus’ love and grace and forgiveness cover us again and again and again.
When I think about Christmas, Walter and Milton the cockroach come to mind.
When Walter started working for the largest corporation in the world, the personnel director said he would have to start at the bottom and work his way up. So Walter found himself in the basement of the corporation’s headquarters building in the mailroom. Walter liked his job, but often daydreamed about what it would be like to be a junior executive, vice president, president, or even chairman of the board.
One day, as Walter was busy collating the mail, he heard tiny footsteps in the corner and noticed a small cockroach creeping around. Just as he was about to step on it, he heard a small voice scream: “Don’t kill me! Please, don’t kill me! I’m Milton the cockroach. And if you spare my life, I promise to grant all of your wishes.” That sounded like a pretty good deal to Walter. So he spared Milton the cockroach’s life.
Walter’s first wish was to get out of the mailroom and be a junior executive. Milton granted that wish. Next Walter wanted to become one of the vice presidents of the corporation. That wish was granted too. As a matter of fairy tale fact, Milton the cockroach kept granting every one of Walter’s wishes until Walter was finally elevated to be chairman of the board, on the top floor of the headquarters building, of the largest corporation in the world.
Now everybody looked up to Walter and he was very happy. Ever so often, Milton the cockroach could hear Walter saying to himself: “I am Walter. Everybody respects me. Everybody knows I’m in control. I’m at the top. No one is bigger or better or more important than me.”
One day as Walter was sitting behind his desk and daydreaming about how important he had become, he heard footsteps on the top of the roof. When the sound of the footsteps suddenly stopped, Walter decided to investigate. What he found was a little boy who was on his knees praying.
By this time, as you can imagine, Walter had become quite impressed with himself and his position as chairman of the board of the largest corporation in the world. So he asked the boy, “Are you praying to Walter?” “Of course not,” said the little boy with a smile of innocence. “I’m praying to God!” Walter responded, “Why are you praying to God? I’m chairman of the board of the largest corporation in the world. What can God do for you that I cannot do for you?” The little boy replied, “God made me and God saved me.”
Walter didn’t know what to say. Very disturbed by this turn of events, he sent for Milton the cockroach as soon as he got back to his office on the top floor of the headquarters building of the largest corporation in the world. “I want to be like God,” Walter told Milton. So Milton the cockroach granted Walter’s wish and Walter went back to the mailroom in the basement.
That’s what Christmas is all about. God works out His serving ministry in the mailrooms of life. God comes down to our level to show us how to move up in life and eternity. It’s a gift. The Babe of Bethlehem. Jesus. Our Lord and Savior. And He makes us want to sing softly as we pray with Mary, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
When I think about Christmas, I think of God gathering all of the angels together, pulling out His wallet, showing them our pictures, and saying, “That’s my boy! That’s my girl! Have you seen my boy today? Have you seen my girl today? I love them. I’m going down there to get them. I’d just die for them. I’d just die to bring them back home.”
What are you thinking about today? Fun things? Fun times? When you think about Christmas, what do you think about? God wants us to remember the fun things and fun times. When we think of them, we think of Him. Jesus has always been why we had them. And Jesus will keep them coming.
All of the fun things and fun times of Christmas remind us that the greatest gift of God Himself was Jesus as our Lord and Savior. That’s why we’ve got all we want for Christmas through Him.