Christmas/New Year’s Wishlist

“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment. Cleverness is mere opinion. Bewilderment brings intuitive knowledge.” Rumi

I did want to write about whether Christians must believe in the virgin birth to be christian. Wouldn’t it be a great exercise in Courage to tackle that subject during this season? I thought. What would I find and how would it make me feel?

As usual, not caring that I don’t possess a theology degree, I jumped in with both feet, eager to find some answers. I listened to podcasts and viewed vlogs. I looked over my church’s library books and dove into resources. (Well, at least a little.)

‘Ha-ha-ha-ha!’ I soon laughed, ruefully. Humility welcomed me back with open arms. ‘You belong here with me,’ it said with great kindness.

Photo by Dan Kiefer on Unsplash

Some of the materials on the virgin birth advise us to ‘Engage with the Text’. Okay, that can mean: the original Greek, Aramaic, or Hebrew; various definitions of  ‘virginity’ in ancient times; the supposedly—or not—parallel stories of Hindu gods, Buddhist gods, and pagan gods; lobbed verbal missiles among Christians; and so on and on. 

Note: I would greatly welcome your reading ideas and your thoughts on this subject, please! I’ve already lost track of my own undisciplined wanderings, although I did find that theologians seem quite interested in deity and its relation to atonement.

Since I can’t come up with The Answer, it seems that simplifying and frankly lightening up are called for. I have shifted focus to creating my Christmas/New Year’s Wishlist. Yes, it’s a step down but much more in my wheelhouse.

Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah seem to desire the same things: family hugs, deeds of charity, and the rule of love. (Ramadan will start in April of next year, and the same can be said for it.)

Here is my Christmas Wishlist. I’d love to hear yours:

  1. That I will work harder for our planet.

2.  That our Anabaptist denomination will find its way forward, with the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

3.   That we will all recognize kindness as a steely-eyed strength, possessing purpose and power.

4.  That I will be a better judge of my thoughts and actions, relying on God’s voice(s) not just my own concepts of courage, humility and accomplishment.

5.   That the thousands of opiate-addicted Midwesterners who lost their way of life in the Great Recession will come back to us, from wherever they are.

6.   That my state of Ohio will be able to create foward-looking, secure, and sustainable jobs.

7.   That I will continue to lose weight. But I still love cake, pie, ice cream— especially Cincinnati’s Graeters double, double chocolate chip—and homemade bread. (I’m so corrupt.)

8.  That, before it is too late, the earth’s population will recognize present immigration as a consequence of climate change—and that no one is immune. No one.

9.   That I will stop whining and be a better friend, auntie, and wife—and hold Christmas dear in my heart.

And, because I’m getting too serious and misty-eyed as I begin to remember holidays past—I miss you, Mom and Dad Purves/Holt—I’ll end with my most desired wish, which happens to be stated in the comedy Miss Congeniality. You know the one.

Okay, okay. To be fair, with tears in her eyes, Gracie admits at the end of the movie that she really, really does want World Peace.

But imagine a world at peace! What would business, housing, and progress look like? Would it be wonderful, or would we humans careen down our usual paths, knocking things off the shelves and messing it all up? It surely would be nice to see peace one time, though.

A number of the sources I ran through (and over and under) in my haste to find answers to whether-Christians-must-believe-in-the-virgin-birth stated that humankind can’t possibly create its own salvation. In other words, we are just too flawed. Most religions seem to hold this belief in common.

Those who are atheists get a pass. Ethics is their game, and I’m often envious of atheists’ freedom from mystery. I’ll keep studying, though, not because I’ll ever reach knowledge but because it makes me happy to delve. 

This season, enjoy your blessings, give freely of love, pray, and work for Peace on Earth. (As an Anabaptist, I just had to get in the ‘working/doing’ part or feel uncomfortable.)

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a glorious Kwanzaa to you.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment. Cleverness is mere opinion. Bewilderment brings intuitive knowledge.” Rumi


I welcome your comments:

{Thank you to my niece, Addie (Liechty) Kogan, for taking the picture that is this blog’s featured image. Her blog is:}

Best wishes and have a good week.


Posted in

Greta Holt


  1. JWFox on December 17, 2019 at 11:51 am

    You have me at Graeter’s! I pastored the Cincinnati BIC back in the early 90’s. I loved going there!!!

    • Greta Holt on December 17, 2019 at 11:58 am

      Was that Brethren in Christ, Western Hills, or a different church? My second favorite Graeters ice cream is black raspberry chocolate chip.

  2. Katie Laine on December 17, 2019 at 11:58 am


    • Greta Holt on December 17, 2019 at 12:01 pm

      I miss you, Katie my friend, at this time of year. Both of us remember skating on Hilty’s pond.

  3. Diane Gottlieb on December 19, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    Love your list, Greta! The ice-cream flavor sounds dreamy!
    Have a wonderful Christmas and all good things in the new year!

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