Are you still looking for Christmas gifts? I have a simple idea. Give the gift of a prayerful you. A household fueled by prayer is a joyful one. It’s something anyone can give, from the very young to the very old.
I’m not talking about giving someone a card saying, “My gift to you is that I’m praying for you.” I think that would rub many people the wrong way. They will think that you are cheap, forgot to get them a gift, or that you’re using a gift as an opportunity to comment on your spirituality. I’m thinking of a different direction when talking about the gift of prayer.
I suggest that you consciously commit to prayer in the final days of Advent, Christmas, and beyond. Let’s face it, Christmas may be joyful but it’s hardly peaceful or relaxing. There are all sorts of chaos — family, shopping, dinners, and parties. For those traveling, it’s dealing with accommodations you may not be used to such as crashing on your in-laws’ coach because that’s the only place to sleep. Maybe you’re alone because you have to work or your family lives far away. Routine, daily prayer can help you experience joy during the busy Christmas season.
Imagine a Christmas when everyone is fueled by prayer. I see it as one where people don’t flip out because they didn’t give or receive the correct presents. It’s enjoying a conversation with Grandma Josephine despite the fact she burnt the apple pie (again). It’s about talking to your sibling about your shared interest in movies instead of arguing about politics. It’s a time when people just roll with inconveniences instead of turning into monsters. That is what a prayerful Christmas can look like.
Picture Mary in the Second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary. The fruit of this mystery is loving your neighbor. Despite being pregnant, Mary traveled far to be with her cousin Elizabeth. It was probably rough and uncomfortable for Mary. And yet, the Bible speaks of the joy both felt when they encountered each other. Maybe there was some complaining over the long journey, but it was overshadowed by joy. Imitate Mary and Elizabeth by focusing on the joy of Christmas instead of the hardships.
Regardless of your circumstances, Christmas can always be improved with daily prayer. Carve out time to pray the Rosary and let Mary help you see the joy that God places all around you.