Now I am coming to you again, the third time; and it is still not going to cost you anything, for I don’t want your money. I want you!  2 Corinthians 12:14 (NLT)

 What could a post entitled “nothing” be about?   Well, it’s about Christmas. Yes, Christmas! It is a counter-cultural commentary on the excesses of the “giving” season.   My wife bears the brunt of the Christmas gift chase because, with nine grandchildren and seventeen total in our immediate family, no one gets left out when it comes to finding something under the tree.

Add to that our extended family and a 14-year old German exchange student, and….well, you get the picture. She doesn’t rest until she has all of them taken care of with an appropriate gift.  She often crashes in bed at night still worrying about what gift to get for someone on her list.

She asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and the answer was really “nothing.”  I have all I need in terms of stuff.  Anyone who has lived as long as I have already has enough “stuff”.  Getting more stuff for me isn’t what makes me content.

What makes me content can’t be boxed or wrapped.  It has no price tag and you don’t have to worry about it being damaged when shipped if bought online.  You don’t even need to get trampled at the mall while shopping for me.

This post was inspired by a post by Anne Miller Simon on Facebook where she commented that every year, she gets questions from her children as to what she wants for Christmas.  Her answer is classic:

I want you. I want you to keep coming around. I want you to bring your kids around. I want you to ask me questions, ask my advice, tell me your problems, ask for my opinion, ask for my help, make me feel needed. I want you to come over and rant about your problems, rant about life, whatever. Tell me about your job, your worries, your boyfriend/girlfriend, your husbands/wives, your kids, your fur babies. I want you to continue sharing your life with me.  […] I want you to come over and laugh with me, or laugh at me. I don’t care. [….] I have the things I need, and I want to see [my family] happy and healthy. When you ask me what I want for Christmas, I say “nothing” because you’ve already been giving me my gift all year. I want you.”

Couldn’t have said it better.

Hearing my kids and grandkids laugh is music to my ears.  There’s nothing like a giggle of children to make me smile. We enjoyed raising our kids, and having them as grownups with their own children is a special reward.  Watching each grandchild grow up with their different personalities and talents is wonderful.

Even more fun for me is watching them interact with each other.  The cousins love to be around each other and it’s just fun to sit back and observe them having fun with one another.  There is no gift on earth more valuable to me than to sit back and enjoy my family.

So, that’s why this post is entitled “nothing.”  Nothing can improve on what I just described.  Nothing is worth more to me than the above.  Nothing can change the relationships I have with my friends around the world and those I mentor. Absolutely nothing!

The challenge here is to reflect on what really matters in your life.  I bet it isn’t acquiring more stuff.  Stuff is fun sometimes, but it doesn’t last and it doesn’t lead to lasting joy. I enjoy giving stuff, and grandkids enjoy receiving gifts.  It makes them giggle.  It makes them give me a hug. That’s my gift from them in return.  That’s priceless.

So, when your family asks you what you want for Christmas, take a moment before you answer to reflect on what really matters in your life.   I’ll bet it has more to do with relationships than “stuff.” Maybe your answer will mirror mine and Anne Simons: “I want you.

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:  Let your mentee know that watching him or her grow is the best gift you could ever have for Christmas.  You can Be the Gift to someone else.

WORSHIP: Listen to what is really important at Christmas.  The song Emmanuel (or God with us) sung by Chris Tomlin. It’s one of my favorites this time of year.


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