Ask For What You Want For Christmas, But Don’t Expect To Get It!
Ed, my neighbor next door, has decided that there is a big problem with ChristmasÂ today. According to my neighbor, when he was a kid you never knew what you would get as aÂ Christmas gift. Yes, he did make a list of what he wanted for Christmas, but he knew that whatÂ he wanted didnâ€™t mean he would get it. There was no sense of entitlement that he would getÂ what he requested. His parents decided what gifts were too expensive, and what presents heÂ should or shouldnâ€™t have. In spite of these circumstances, Christmas never failed to bring greatÂ excitement and joy. Christmas presents were truly a surprise and a celebration of what you got,Â rather than, caring about what you wanted to get. He claims that they didnâ€™t often get whatÂ they asked to get as a gift. It saddened Ed that his grandchildren only know of getting the giftsÂ they have requested.
I challenged Ed that probably kids today donâ€™t always get the presents that they ask toÂ receive. I said that likely parents still set a limit on what is too expensive for a gift, but Ed saidÂ that I was out of touch with today. I conceded that I had heard that before about other things. IÂ think that Ed had a wonderful Christmas in his childhood, because his Christmas was aÂ celebration of what he got rather than caring about the gifts he had asked to receive.
The Christmas Season does spotlight who is grateful and who isnâ€™t. From a ChristianÂ perspective, we celebrate Godâ€™s gift to us, His Son. Godâ€™s Son, Jesus Christ was born among usÂ to accomplish the forgiveness of our sins and our reconciliation with God. Thanks to Jesus, weÂ do have forgiveness of our sins, and reconciliation with God. It was a gift that cost JesusÂ everything, his life and death and resurrection for our benefit. Christian gratitude at ChristmasÂ is, â€˜happiness doubled by wonder,â€™ in the words of G. K. Chesterton.
For many, Christmas is about giving and receiving gifts. Gifts given and received do notÂ necessarily bring about happiness or joy. Frank A. Clark has wisely said, â€œIf a fellow isnâ€™tÂ thankful for what heâ€™s got, he isnâ€™t likely to be thankful for what he gets.â€ Being grateful doesÂ not come to people naturally or easily. Aldous Huxley points out, â€œMost human beings have anÂ almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.â€
Researchers have proven an attitude of gratitude or consistent gratefulness, can achieveÂ powerful physical change in a personâ€™s body; by amplifying oneâ€™s energy, increasing intelligenceÂ and decreasing depression and anxiety. An attitude of gratitude reflects Godâ€™s word in the BibleÂ that instructs us to give thanks in all circumstances. Can you always be thankful for everything
that happens? Yes, bad, sad, ugly and awful stuff happens to everyone. There are no shortcutsÂ or easy answers to having an attitude of gratitude when life stinks.
Gratitude is always a choice beyond what life has handed us. When wrong is there, the
secret is finding something right no matter how small. Consistent gratefulness grows if weÂ recognize we are not entitled to anything or everything we want.