By Mike RuffinI remember when I wanted lots of things for Christmas. ‘How many things?’ you might ask. Well, let’s just say that had I sent a letter to Santa, it would have required extra postage. Somewhere there’s an 8mm film of nine-year-old me monopolizing Santa’s time as I tick off the items on my list while adults in the background laugh. But I wasn’t one to take chances.There were just so many toys to choose from. How was a boy supposed to decide what he had to have and what he could live without? Besides, how many chances did you get to say ‘I want all of this’ and know you had a decent chance of getting a lot of it?I figured it was best to tell Santa I wanted everything and to trust him to decide what was best.Now, I lived under special circumstances. I was the only child of middle-class parents. They spoiled me a little bit, by which I mean a lot. I got more for Christmas than I should have. It sure was fun.As I approach my sixtieth Christmas, I think I may have finally reached peak maturity. I realized this the other day when my Good Wife said, ‘You haven’t told me anything you want for Christmas’ and I answered, ‘That’s because I don’t want anything.’ I wasn’t kidding. And I wasn’t trying to be noble. In previous years I’ve said that I didn’t need anything, but I think this is the first one when I’ve said I didn’t want anything. I can’t quite get my head around the fact that I really don’t. But I really don’t.Oh, that doesn’t mean that I won’t enjoy opening any presents I might get. And I will get a few, because despite my failure to produce a wish list, my wife and children will give me things, and I’ll be happy to receive them because I know the love that stands behind them. Besides, I like surprises.Here’s the thing though: I have everything I want, mainly because I have everybody I want. I have a good wife, good children, good children-in-law, a good grandson, and a soon-to-be-born good granddaughter. While they are all good in the sense of being opposite from bad, that’s not what I mean. I mean that they are good gifts of God. I have them not because I deserve them, but rather by the grace of God.Now that I think about it, there is one thing I want for Christmas: I want everybody to have people in their lives that they love and that love them. I want everybody to experience that grace.Maybe it’s a mark of real maturity when we realize that the joy we find in our closest relationships is incomplete until everybody knows such joy.This Christmas, I wish it for you.
Be First to Comment