Holiday Reflection

By Lauren Kirchberg

Living in the North means enduring long, cold winters. No matter how many layers of clothing I put on, it seems the cold always finds a way through. The only way I’ve learned to get through the short, freezing days is to listen to my favorite holiday songs. One of my recent favorites is “Grown-Up Christmas List” by Amy Grant. It’s not your typical Christmas song, it’s not a pop hit by Mariah Carey or Justin Bieber, and it’s also not a song you hear at Christmas Mass. Yet, this song moves me every time.  In the song, Grant gives us her wishes for Christmas, wishes for a better world. My favorite section of the song is:

“So here’s my lifelong wish
My grown-up Christmas List
Not for myself, but for a world in need

No more lives torn apart
And wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
Every one would have a friend
And love would never end
This is my grown-up Christmas list

As children we believed
The grandest sight to see
Was something lovely wrapped beneath our tree
Well, Heaven surely knows
That packages and bows
Can never heal a hurting human soul”

Deep down, we all have these same items on our Christmas list. Much like Grant, we typically see these wishes as a far-off dream. But, what if they aren’t? When we ask our parents, children, siblings, friends, or neighbors what they want for Christmas this year, they’ll probably  respond with an item, event, or something that could be found in a store. However, what if we asked for their ‘grown-up Christmas list’ - not the things from the store, but the intangibles like love, comfort,  joy, or companionship. 

As the song says, “Packages and bows can never heal a hurting human soul”. This holiday season, let’s try something new; let's ask those around us how we can better support them emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Let’s find ways to bring people together, create peace between individuals, support those who are grieving, be a friend to those who need one, and offer love. Then, maybe, person by person we will start to see the changes we wish for in our homes, communities, and world.

You can watch my favorite version of Grown Up Christmas List, as sung by the Portland Choir & Orchestra below.