When I have kids, they will not make Christmas lists.

After you’re done wondering why such a sadistic Christmas-hater is writing for the CFJ blog, read on.

I promise I am not a Christmas-hater. I’m not that person who rants and raves about American materialism while sitting in my warm, comfortable dorm room, wearing one of my fifteen pink sweaters and staring at the screen of my MacBook. But I am an unashamed Christmas-list-hater.

Giving gifts (and receiving them, too) is about love. Not the kind of love you see in a Shakespeare play or the Twilight series, but the kind of love that says hey, I care about you so much that I took the time during this crazy busy holiday season to buy/make something for you that I hope will make you smile. In my opinion, Christmas lists squash this emotion.

Christmas lists make Christmas morning dull and predictable. They turn Christmas shopping into a mundane chore. They take away the surprise of receiving a gift that’s meaningful in a way you hadn’t expected. They take away the joy of hunting for a gift that special enough for a person that is very special to you. Christmas loses its mysticism, its excitement. Which is a bummer because Christmas is the most mystical thing ever.

In a society where Christmas has become a holiday of begrudged spending and joyless receiving, “mystical” hardly seems like the right adjective. But why do we celebrate Christmas in the first place? Because prophets spent hundreds of years prophesying about a baby who would be born without a biological father and placed in a feeding trough and wrapped in rags and then grow up to be gruesomely killed so that our souls don’t have to be AND THEN A MAN WAS ACTUALLY BORN WHO DID ALL THAT. Excuse me, but that’s freaking nuts…and pretty mystical, too.

I heard a sermon this week about the odds of any one man accidentally fulfilling upwards of forty prophesies made about his life. Needless to say, the odds aren’t great. I’d be more likely to win the lottery. The Mega-Millions one.

Don’t let something as silly as a Christmas list rob your Christmas of this mysticism. In fact, go grab your list right now, rip it into tiny pieces, and laugh maniacally as you throw the shreds out your window and onto the heads of the passerby below. Watch the tiny pieces flutter away like Christmas snowflakes in the wind (I’m so poetic).

Give from your heart this Christmas. Receive gifts with open arms and a big smile. I know we’ve all been told that we give presents to remember the Magi’s gifts to baby Jesus, but forget about that this Christmas. Do it to remember the BIG gift God has already given to every single person – his son Jesus. Instead of “Here’s what I want. Now give it to me,” let’s make this Christmas about “Here’s what I’ve already been given…what are the odds of that?”

Tatum Hunter is a First-Year English major from Cincinnati, Ohio. In the summer months you may find her relaxing by the pool and saving lives as a lifeguard. Tatum has a great voice so if you catch her singing, don’t stop her! People want to hear it!