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Christmas Gift

Christmas is such a wonderful time, filled with warmth, joy and hope; especially when children enter into the picture...

And that Christmas was no different. In fact, Christmas had taken on a new wonder, ever since the day our only son was born. Most notably because he entered our "world" just a couple of weeks before Christmas.

The year was now 1997, and our little boy had just turned four. Having been through one of the first birthday parties that would truly impact him, he became very intrigued by the idea of gift giving and receiving. He practiced the skill by wrapping up little tidbits (an old toy, a leaf, etc.) in pieces of crumpled paper or anything even resembling wrapping paper. Then he would proudly offer his "gift" to one of us. He had a boundless imagination, being quite prone to building, inventing and creating, even at that age; and this was a wonderful new expression of his emerging personality.

...So, the big day was finally upon us. After we put him to bed on Christmas Eve, my husband and I went downstairs to finish wrapping his presents. Our son had a tendency to hum and play a little before he drifted off to sleep, but on this night, the "sugarplums" were really dancing up a storm in his head. He was "puttering around" for the longest time in his bedroom, and as I would come up to check on him, he would have his light on and his door closed. Periodically he would come out and ask for some little thing or other.

Before he finally fell asleep, he called me to come upstairs, and showed me something he wanted to put under the Christmas Tree. It was an old shoe box from a pair of his boots, and sticking out was a small towel that was apparently wrapped around a thick stick. He said it was for "Daddy" and me, and we were not allowed to peek... I thought it was so sweet that he had wrapped up a present for us--even if it was just a stick. It was from his heart, and he had done it without being told or asked... And we didn't peek... (Not that we needed to, because you could clearly see the stick protruding from the towel... So cute, I thought...)

We had gone a little overboard with our gifts, and when we put them under the tree it looked pretty "magical" to be sure. We figured he would be overwhelmed with excitement when he saw all of those presents the next morning.

Well, on Christmas morning, he did rush out to the tree in excitement. But he seemed oblivious to all the colors, lights and presents. He went straight for the little old shoe box, and happily offered it as his gift to us. We thought it was so adorable, and began to unwrap it, ready to pretend to be so thankful for this beautiful stick he gave us...

But as we opened it, we looked at each other in amazement and awe; for this was no ordinary "stick". The night before, our little son had taken two sticks, used rubber bands to somehow attach them together, used magic markers to decorate them, and had made the most touching gift I have ever received. He had made a cross for us... And he was more concerned with blessing us with it, than with opening any of the tempting presents under the tree. We looked at each other with tears of joy.

Somehow, in his innocence, he knew that the "best" present is Jesus... Oh, if we could all become more like little children...

May you receive Jesus this Christmas, and every day...

Merry Christmas

December 15, 2003

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© 2009 - 2010 Lisa Prokopowitz dba Shining River