Have you marked everything off your Christmas to-do list? Last year, Advent was the longest it could possibly be and I still felt like I was running behind the rest of the world. Strangely enough, this Advent – the shortest it can possibly be – I’m not stressed at all about Christmas shopping, baking, and card-writing. Maybe I’ve finally decided that regardless of what the world might say, I know Christmas doesn’t just last for a day.
When you look at your list of Christmas presents to make or buy, have you remembered the most important Person on that list? Maybe you remembered the mailman and your niece’s boyfriend. But have you remembered… Jesus?
What will I give the Christ child this Christmas? It’s easy to become distracted by making sure we have presents for everyone on our list and a few extras for those we might have forgotten. Have we thought about what we are going to give Jesus? It’s His birthday, after all.
For some of us, perhaps we need simply to give Him more time. Maybe it’s easy for me to busy myself serving on seven different organizations at church and helping my neighbors, but it’s hard for me to slow down and be with Him. Christ wants us to love Him through serving our neighbors, but that doesn’t replace the need to pray and be with Him, too. I’m sure you love receiving presents from your friends and family, but if they’re just buying you a bunch of stuff and never actually spending time with you, the presents feel a little hollow. Perhaps this Christmas, you could give Christ your time. Just sit with Him, whether in the silence of an Adoration chapel or even in your own bedroom (or closet, locked away from relatives, if necessary!). You don’t even have to speak. Just be there with Him. Maybe he wants to speak to you.
For others, maybe we need to give Him more attention. Maybe I try to set aside time for prayer or even daily Mass, but they’ve become items to mark off my to-do list. Perhaps I say the Rosary but find my mind on the mysteries of my life rather than the mysteries of His. We all know the feeling of buying someone a present simply because we know we should buy one – there is no feeling or sentiment behind it, but it’s simply something to get so we can mark it off our to-do list. Sometimes, this is the best we can do. But other times, we know we’ve simply given up and phoned it in. Some days all we can do is offer even our measly attention spans to Christ. But other days, we know we could try harder, we know we can ask Him for help. Prayer isn’t just words, but our heart united to those words.
For others, you feel you have nothing to offer Christ but your pain. He wants it. For others, you have great joys in your life and you’re a little afraid that you offer Him those, He will take them away. He wants these, too. He wants whatever we have to offer Him – because most of all, He wants us.
Do not worry if you feel you feel you have very little to offer Christ. He wants your time, your attention, your pain, your joy. We may feel that we can’t give Him something grand. We forget that He created us, and He created us very grand. Have the courage to give Him your heart for Christmas.