What Do I Want for Christmas This Year?

December 19, 2016 by Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick

It’s a question we get asked a lot, and it’s a question that gets harder to answer as I get older. I have an Amazon wishlist, of course. But, really, I do know what would make me feel like it was a really good Christmas. I know exactly what I want. I’m afraid it’s a long list.
Here’s what I want:
  • I want for Christians to be in church worshiping the Lord, God and Savior Who was born for our sakes to destroy the power of death.
  • I want for families to pursue peace and family harmony by making Jesus Christ central in their family schedules.
  • I want to pray a lot better and a lot more consistently.
  • I want for Christians to stop acting like politics is more important than prayer.
  • I want for petty, transient things to stop mattering so much to me and to my country.
  • I want for people who say that their faith really matters to them to start acting like it.
  • I want for husbands and wives to see that they don’t have to solve everything or even feel in love.
  • I want for husbands and wives to see that their spouse isn’t responsible to make them feel happy.
  • I want for husbands and wives to see that they don’t even have to be best friends.
  • I want for parents to see that their kids aren’t responsible to make them feel successful or adequate or appreciated.
  • I want for parents to believe that an education in Christian life for their children is their first and only real task as parents.
  • I want for pilgrimage to be more critical and more consistent than vacation.
  • I want for spiritual life to be “a thing,” that is, a thing that people are working on—a project rather than an accessory.
  • I want for my spiritual life to be my biggest project.
  • I want to hear more Christians saying to co-workers, coaches, teachers, friends and family these two sentences together: I can’t. We have church.
  • I want to meet kids who know more about the people in the Bible than the people in a cartoon, a sports team or a video game.
  • I want to be automatically kind rather than automatically defensive.
  • I want to see church members whose first question is “How can I help?” rather than “You know what we should be doing?”
  • I want for the government of my country to stop acting like it can and should fix everything.
  • I want for me and my countrymen to stop acting like we can and should fix everything.
  • I want for the average annual gift to the church even to rival the average annual cost of cable TV or eating out.
  • I want people to see that history, especially Church history, matters.
  • I want people to see that doctrine matters and has a real effect on life.
  • I want people to see that morality isn’t something holding you down but something giving you strength.
  • I want prayer to be more about meeting God and less about asking something from God.
  • I want people to know that God really does love them just as they are.
  • I want people to see that God’s love doesn’t leave them as they are.
  • I want for hope to be understood as something we have in the resurrection of Jesus, not in “the future of our country,” any political outcome or personal ambition.
  • I want to see myself as a minor character in Jesus’ story rather than Him as a minor character in my story.
  • I want the story of the death-conquering King of Kings to be what defines us more than any other story.
These are some things that I want. I think any one of them would really make my Christmas.
What do you want for Christmas this year?