I have to admit I’m not a huge Mariah Carey fan. It’s not that I don’t think she has a good voice—she’s has a fantastic voice with incredible range. And it’s certainly not that I don’t think she’s good looking—she’s as cute as a button (as they used to say in the old days). It’s just that I’m not generally into her genre of music, so I don’t usually hear her stuff.
The exception to that, however, is during the Christmas season. Hearing her music is virtually unavoidable this time of year. One of her songs, in particular, gets more airtime than is probably allowable by law. Unless you’ve been living in a cave somewhere, you know that song is All I Want for Christmas is You.
One of the repeated phrases in that lyric is, “I don’t want a lot for Christmas.” If you watch the video, it looks like she doesn’t want a lot for Christmas because she already has everything. That, of course, is the plight of many of us who currently live in the good old US of A. In many cases, we have more than we need and really shouldn’t want a lot for Christmas.
Every year, my adult children ask me for my Christmas wish list. I always struggle to make one up for them, but I end up listing a bunch of stuff—none of which I need. Besides, they have kids of their own and other bills to pay. I would just as soon they spend their money elsewhere.
So, I’ve thought about it, and have come up with My Grownup Christmas List (which, of course, is another Christmas song played ad nauseam this time of year). My list includes the following:
One more Pittsburgh Pirate World Series Championship before I die
One more Pittsburgh Steeler Super Bowl Victory before I die
A partridge in a pear tree
What makes this a “grownup” Christmas list is that no one on earth can realistically provide these things for me (except maybe the last one—but I just threw that in because it sounds cool). The more I think about it, however, I’m not so sure how grownup it is to wish for something you have little or no possibility of attaining—especially through wishing alone.
The irony of all this is the fact that we supposedly do it to honor the King of Glory–our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The line is that we are celebrating his birth. We don’t even know his actual birthdate (which is almost undoubtedly NOT December 25). Then we buy stuff we can’t afford to give to people who don’t really need what we’ve purchased. I’m guessing Jesus would just as soon we bake him a cake, sing happy birthday, and call it a day.
We don’t do that, of course, and we probably never will. So, if you can arrange for that partridge in a pear tree, I’ll patiently await its delivery.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is currently pastor of Smith Chapel in Great Falls, VA.]