We subconsciously pickup from Santa songs that we get gifts according to how naughty or nice we’ve been. If there were such a list, our gifts would be something we earn for doing good things (not totally free without strings attached).
Don’t we give with the intention that it’s a free gift without strings attached when we make donations to charities (e.g., Salvation Army bell-ringers, pack Christmas shoeboxes, etc.)?
In a letter to Titus, Paul speaks of doing what is good (Titus 3:4-5; 8),
“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy…And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.”” (NIV)
Regarding salvation, thank God there isn’t a naughty and nice list. If God were to really keep a running list of all the naughty things and nice things that I have ever done throughout my life, I might be ashamed of the imbalanced tally of certain unnamed things. Following such a list can steal the joy that Christ gives because we have to work too hard to earn God’s approval.
Christmastime is all about the joy that Christ came to give us free, un-earned acceptance from God. For Christians, our joy comes from knowing that God’s righteousness and mercy has made us righteous in God’s sight. So spread the joy! Donate to your favorite charities. Serve in church. Give of your service all year-long to your non-profit organizations. Freely give.