A grown-up Christmas List

In the category of cringeworthy Christmas songs, there are a few tracks that top my list. “Christmas Shoes” is a clear winner, but in a close second is Amy Grant’s “Grown Up Christmas List.” 

I grew up in a household that wore out Amy Grant cassettes in December. Some of her renditions I enjoyed. “Grown Up Christmas List” left me rushing for the skip button on my six-disk CD player. 

In preparation for this blog post, I revisited Grant’s song. Honestly, I listened to the Kelly Clarkson remake, but don’t tell Amy. To my surprise, it wasn’t as cringey as I remembered. The second verse particularly stood out to me: 

As children we believe

The grandest sight to see

Was something lovely wrapped beneath the tree

But Heaven only knows

That packages and bows

Can never heal a heartached human soul

Even more touching were the comments under the video. They shared personal struggles, reasons for revisiting the song, small comforts found in Amy’s wishes and hopes that they had for the world. Some of the comments were posted as recently as this month. My sappy, idealist and prone-to-cry self shed a tear reading the genuine messages left by strangers from around the world. 

I was inspired to share a few of my grown-up Christmas wishes for this year – for you and for me. 

I wish for connection.

If you read Kelli’s blog post earlier this month, then you learned about the value of connecting with the people you love. Many families are forsaking traditions and time spent with family this year, hoping that next year we’ll be able to reunite. It’s not lost on me how hard that decision is, especially when you consider that next year is never guaranteed. While your holiday table setting might be a few plates short this year, my wish for you is that you’ll find ways to connect. From online games with cousins to FaceTime sessions with your parents, I hope you create new and unique memories this year. 

I wish for reconciliation and healing. 

Where gaps existed in friendships and familial relationships, chasms formed this year. There is a lot of grief that comes along with the type of division that happened throughout 2020. If it’s possible and healthy in your situation, I wish for reconciliation and healing. If nothing else, I wish for peace in your relationships with your friends, relatives and chosen family. 

I wish for rest. 

We’ve all been fighting our own battles. From working at home with a toddler to mourning missed opportunities, we’ve all struggled to make it through at times. That mental tug-of-war can be exhausting emotionally and physically. My wish for you is that the end of the year brings you some rest and an opportunity to reset. 

I wish for joy, big and small. 

Finally, I hope this holiday season brings you joys in all shapes and sizes. I hope lighting the menorah brings a smile to your face. I hope watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas with your child causes your heart to grow three sizes. I hope you cherish the cards and greetings you receive in the mail as reminders that people love and appreciate you. And I hope you bite into that frosted cookie with reckless abandon.