In 1992, I was 10 years old and over the moon to find (what we called) a stereo under the tree with “To: Sarah, From: Santa” scrawled in suspiciously familiar script. And in my stocking, my very first CD. Amy Grant, Home for Christmas. The perfect way to enjoy my new “boombox”.
I must have listened to that CD hundreds of times. On repeat. And I pretended to be asleep when I heard my Dad come in and turn it off on nights I let it play and play and play…
No more lives torn apart,
And wars would never start,
And time would heal all hearts.
And every one would have a friend,
And right would always win,
And love would never end
This is my grown-up Christmas list.
My favorite song from the album. Grown-Up Christmas List. Lyrics arguably wasted on 10-year-old me, but never more relevant than now.
As children we believed
The grandest sight to see
Was something lovely wrapped beneath the tree.
Well, heaven surely knows
That packages and bows
Can never heal a hurting human soul.
It’s been covered by a dozen artists, but the Amy Grant version is the one that stops me this time of year. Makes me pause in the middle of a store when I hear it over the speakers, makes me take a deep breath in the car when it comes on the radio.
This weekend I realized I was humming it, and it made me smile. Then I mentally added a few grown-up wishes to my list:
- Time. All the time spent shopping and planning and fussing, spend it hanging out in your sweatpants making muffins out of a box and watching Elf with your kid instead. Spend time laughing. And listening. And telling stories. Every single minute you take for granted is one someone would give anything to have back.
- Energy. All the energy spent comparing the reality of your own life to the Instagram-version of someone else’s, spend making a memory instead. Do it for the genuine joy and warmth of memory-making, and not because it will make for great photos. You don’t always realize it, but your energy is more precious than your time.
- Money. Good grief, the money. All the money you spend because you made a list and you have to finish the list. You have to buy them something, to buy them something. Spend this money in a way that MATTERS. You might be surprised how little money it really takes to change a life.
There are certainly more, right grown-ups? Sleep, health, patience. Precious wishes. Heavy reminders.
My Grown-Up Christmas List. For myself and for every other busy grown-up who is so busy being a grown-up they risk completely missing the point.
Here’s to checking it twice.