Faith General

All I Want for Christmas

When I was 8, it was my two front teeth, and a few Matchbox® cars. When I was 10, it was Hot Wheels® track. I recall staying up till midnight Christmas night doing time trials until my mom said it was time to go to bed. When I was 13, I got a drafting kit!  A t-square, paper, and pencils. I spent hours in my room drafting imaginary houses and buildings. At 15, it was a stocking cap. I wore that thing everywhere, even to bed! It wouldn’t leave my head for months. Sometime around April, when Spring hit, I noticed how my head was always hot. My teenaged trend faded and the hat surprisingly disappeared!

I have over 200 Matchbox cars; since I was a toddler. They bring back awesome memories!
(Photo courtesy of Getty Images.)

Gifts Reflect What We Value

When I was 19, I recall my grandma telling me in her German brogue to “read the Proverbs”.  What college student listens to his grandparents? Secretly, I did and decided to get a better translation of the Bible. My love for God’s Word increased and that helped me through some tough days of architecture school. 

It’s nice to receive tangible gifts. Hopefully, the giver is sending a message of appreciation and love for you. Frankly, of all the gifts I’ve received over the years, the ones I valued the most are those that speak words of affirmation and validation into my otherwise parched soul. All too often I was giving myself a low score in the confidence department. I saw myself as too little too late. Longing for that arm of affirmation around my shoulders, that look into my eyes that spoke words of acceptance and validation. Safe ears I could speak and vent to; knowing that unconditional love would meet me on the other side.

What Do You Want for Christmas?

Frankly, the adage, “When you have everything, nothing comes to mind.” plays heavily into what’s on your Christmas list. There comes a point when it’s less about things and more about values, emotions, and love.

Yes, Jesus Christ is God’s ultimate expression of his unconditional love for us. Not just God entering the human experiment as a baby, but loving us completely enough to die for us. You cannot totally appreciate Christmas without considering Easter. 

We give because God gave to us. We love because he first loved us.

Why We Give at Christmas

God’s placed people in your life for a reason. He wants you to focus on ways you can love them as Christ loves us. This is why we order gifts online, find Black Friday sales, wrap, and ship. It’s why we write letters and notes. Out of the richness of God’s love for you, be rich in loving others, knowing it’s not about the new pocket knife, or the cordless drill, or the drone or the ammo, or the flannel shirt your great aunt made for you (that doesn’t fit cause you put on weight since last Christmas). It’s about you speaking affirmation and validation into the hearts of others. Saying “I love you” to someone at Christmas may be the best gift someone will receive.

I would spend hours playing with my Hot Wheels track. I even took it to university for races with my roommates!

What’s On Your Christmas List?

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of www.Mentoring-Warriors.com. Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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