What Do I Want for Christmas This Year?

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?


  1. Beautifully written. I am going to run off a copy and post it where I can see it everyday, reminding me of what, and who, is important; Christ the Lord.

    Merriest Christmas, Father

  2. Father,
    I have been reading your articles over the past year and have never commented. They are so clearly stated, uplifting and encouraging. I have shared some of them with my Bible Study group along with your website so they can be enriched as well. I have especially enjoyed your daily blogs this Lenten season. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for sharing your labor of love in His word with those of us outside the St. Paul community.

    Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

  3. Love your blog. I am a regular reader and so appreciate the encouragement. Merry Christmas, May our Lord grant your wishes.

  4. Father, this is such a thought-provoking and challenging post (good challenging). This is a great and wonderful challenge for us all! I am going to share this with our parish council and lots of people that I know! Christ is Born, Glorify Him!

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