It is that time of year. We have given thanks for the blessings of life, gathered around a table full of food, family, and friends. Now, we are putting up Christmas trees, lights, and stockings . . .with care. We have made lists (and checked them twice) of the things we want for Christmas. In this classic clip from The Brady Bunch, Cindy waits to tell Santa what we wants for Christmas.
- What is on your wish list this Christmas?
- There was a little boy in line to see Santa in front of Cindy. What was your reaction to his list?
- How did Cindy’s request of Santa make you feel?
- Would your response to Cindy be similar to her Dad’s? Why or why not?
- If a child told you he or she did not want any toys for Christmas, would your reaction be like Santa’s?
- Read Galatians 6:2. How does this verse speak to this clip?
A high school student was asked by his parents what he wanted for Christmas. A few days later he came to them and explained that he did not want anything for Christmas. Instead, he explained, he wanted to use the money that his parents would have spent on Christmas presents to buy socks and give them out to the homeless at an inner city park.
Like Santa in the clip, they were surprised. “No toys?!?” The parents welcomed the change, and followed through with the request. It presents the depth of the struggle between the wants and the have enoughs. The struggle is real, and is as old as time. There is the desire for more, more, more. Advertisers have figured out how to market things to different demographics, communicating that their product will make us cooler and happier.
We know that we do not need toys to make us happy. Yet, the temptation is still there. Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, provides a different way to think about it. He calls on the faithful to carry each other’s burdens. It is a call to become more other-centered and respond not to temptations of want, but to the needs of others.
Holy God, prepare our hearts to be other-centered. May our wishes for this holiday season be fulfilled by your Spirit moving in us and using us to meet the needs of others. Use us, Lord. Amen.
In case you wanted to know what happened later in The Brady Bunch, here it is: