It's Christmas-list time again. My children have had theirs made out since the summer. I think they actually had me put every item in the "Thomas the Train" catalog on it! I used to do the same thing as a child. When the Sears "Wish Book" would come out in August, I would spend days out in the back yard studying the pictures and descriptions, making and revising my list a hundred times. I never got everything on it, and neither will my children, but that didn't matter. It was the dreaming that was fun.
There are still things that I would like to get for Christmas, although my life would certainly go on without them. I let my husband know I could use a couple of sweaters. My best friend asked for some suggestions and I told her I would like a new journal or a subscription to a favorite magazine. I could also use a new Bible. The much-loved one I own is worn out from use. The pages are literally falling out! Still, it is like an old friend and I can't bear to replace it yet. Maybe next Christmas.
Really though, I think that as we get older, we are much less likely to have things on our Christmas list. It's not that we don't want or long for something, it is just that those "things" don't come from a store. Some of us may long for love, a special someone to share life with. Others might long for a child. We might be searching for direction in life, a physical or spiritual healing, a new job, or a repaired family relationship. Everyone has some desire deep in their heart that only God can fill.
Last year, my mother told me about a special Christmas novena. She had said it when she was pregnant with me. I was in breech position and she was praying for me to turn around. She went into labor on Christmas Day (two weeks early) and I had turned around. I was safely delivered the following morning. I made the novena last year and did receive the answer to my prayer. Granted, the answer didn't come the way I expected it to, but the answer came, and it came on December 23rd. I invite you to make this novena this Advent season. The traditional days for it are December 16 - 24. Bring your deepest longings to God. Let God know what you want most for Christmas this year.
The Christmas Novena
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment
At which the Son of God was born
Of a most pure Virgin
At a stable in Bethlehem
In the piercing cold.
At that hour vouchsafe, I beseech thee,
To hear my prayers and grant my desires.
(Mention your request here.)
Through Jesus Christ and his most Blessed Mother. Amen.