Possibly the two questions I get asked most at this time of year are – ‘What do you want for Christmas?’ and ‘Are you ready for Christmas?’
When I was younger, it was the first that I was asked most often. These days it is more likely to be the second. They are different, but I wonder if they are also the same. Christmas very easily gets ‘lost’ in a flurry of shopping, parties, food, decorating, card-writing etc. Those are all the things that I think I need to get done in order to be ready for Christmas – and there is always something I wish I had done. I forget to buy the bread sauce, or to send a card to Uncle Fred, or to buy the sellotape … whatever. But is that what is needed to be really ready for Christmas? Or is it really about how I worship the one who came as that Bethlehem baby?
The same goes with the ‘what do I want’ question. Even as a veteran of quite a lot of Christmases, I can still give you quite a list. But is what I really want better described as peace, and hope, and love – all those things brought by the one who is the light of the world?
What do you want for Christmas? Are you ready for Christmas?