Grown-Up Christmas List

When I arrived at my home airport a couple of days ago from my latest out-of-town adventure, I hopped into a shuttle bus that would take me to an off-site parking lot where, as you might well guess, my car was parked.

The shuttle was packed with what appeared to be a mix of business people, back from a couple of days on the road, and families beginning to make their way home for the holidays.

It always strikes me as odd how people, in the most crammed of spaces, do their best not to speak a word to one another or make eye contact. (Think elevator ride.) What is it about connecting with strangers that we do our best to avoid it?

Blaring from the speakers of the shuttle’s radio was one holiday tune after another, a spirit of warmth that would seem to draw us all together. Not so much. It wasn't the holiday tunes that we shared in common; it was our collection of handheld, mobile devices that cast a techno-blue hue amidst the darkness. 

It seems to me we've forgotten another rather obvious common denominator: our humanity. How is it that we’ve allowed so much technology to get in our way?

Moments later, one of my favorite Christmas songs made its way into the cue. It was Amy Grant’s, “Grown-Up Christmas List.” And in the absence of airport-shuttle-conversation, the opportunity appeared to deeply listen to the lyrics of this moving song:


Do you remember me?
I sat upon your knee
I wrote to you with childhood fantasies

Well, I'm all grown-up now
And still need help somehow
I'm not a child
But my heart still can dream

So here's my lifelong wish
My grown-up Christmas list
Not for myself
But for a world in need

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
Everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown-up Christmas list

As children we believed
The grandest sight to see
Was something lovely
Wrapped beneath our tree

Well heaven surely knows
That packages and bows
Can never heal a hurting human soul


What is this illusion called
The innocence of youth
Maybe only in our blind belief
Can we ever find the truth


Soon after the song ended, a woman made a comment about my shoes. We shared mere moments of conversation and a few laughs. When she and her husband were getting off the shuttle, she wished me a happy holiday. And, she warmed my heart.

One thing for sure on my Christmas list this year is a wish for human connection, not the superficial kind that we find online, but the kind that’s waiting for us when we turn away from technology and turn to look in the eyes of another and enjoy a bit of face-to-face conversation.

How about you…what’s on your “grown-up Christmas list” this year?