The Best Gift in the World

by Frank

Christmas Tree

Photo by Robert Proksa

When I was a kid my favorite gifts on Christmas day were things I wasn’t expecting. My unexpected gifts were not like Jermaine’s sweater, which from his story yesterday lead me to believe he is still carrying around some old hurts from his childhood :-), but they did forever change the way I view Christmas.


One year my mother constantly reminded my sister and I that we weren’t getting anything for Christmas. I don’t know if it brought her joy to destroy our hopes and dreams but she did it year after year consistently. At the time I didn’t understand it I just thought she was being evil but as I have grown older…..I still think it was evil but I have a much better understanding of her approach.

Imagine me 10 years old, during the month of December, putting up the Christmas tree with my family. I am so full of joy, so full of confidence, so full of visions of grandure of the gifts that are about to come my way. In my mind I am clearly about to wake up Christmas morning to every possible toy I could have ever wanted. My mother looks me in the eye and says, “I hope you like the decorations because this is all you are getting for Christmas.”

Everyday before Christmas she vividly reminded  me that gifts were not in my forecast. She said it so often that after about 23 days I finally started to believe her. I was humbled and sad. Could you imagine how words like that effect a child? Christmas had lost it’s magic. Christmas had become just another day. At least that’s what I thought.


Everyday before Christmas my mother took the time to explain to me the real meaning of Christmas and what the purpose of it was. My mother taught me about giving and receiving. My mother taught me about being a servant to others.

Then Christmas day I woke up with sense of pride, hope, and a greater understanding of the day I was a part of. To make it even better for the first time in my life my mother intentionally lied to me. There were toys everywhere.

The best gift I have ever received……….. was the gift I never expected.

I’ll let you guess what that gift was.

What are you getting your loved ones for Christmas this year? My gift didn’t come in a box.

If you want to make your shopping experience as easy as possible give the people you love a gift they are not expecting. Surprise them with the unexpected.

Have a great weekend.