All I Want for Christmas: A Prayer List as I Go to the Mall

This Christmas I would like…
the clear conviction
that beauty is for beholding
and that I don’t have to own
everything that gives me pleasure.
I want to have joy in gift-giving,
seeking to delight those I love.
I would like protection from over purchasing:
and reminders that more gifts
don’t always bring more delight.
I would like contentment this year,
and freedom from envy as I look at things
that I cannot afford to buy.
I would like mindfulness for Christmas,
so that as I shop I can be present to those I meet.
In busy, bustling, boisterous aisles,
I want the ability to touch people gently
with my eyes, not my elbows.
Please give me kind words
to share with store employees
who are often overworked and underpaid.
I would like lots of perspective this year,
to know how fortunate I am,
and also heaps of mercy for those who are less fortunate.
If it’s not too much trouble,
can you give me a sign, maybe a star, this year
that would orient me to the search I’m really on,
the search for a treasure,
something for a wise woman to carry
as she journeys to the birth
of a newborn Saviour.

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

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