The Remaining Gift
An unassuming red box with a stick-on silver bow maintains its lonely vigil beneath our Christmas tree. The box is a gift our eldest daughter brought to us several years ago on Thanksgiving Day. Oddly enough, it was empty then and is empty now. Its significant place beneath our tree has since become a holiday tradition.
On Christmas Day as family members gather, each of us will place a small object of remembrance and thanksgiving into the box. Later, after an extraordinary dinner, we will sit around a beautifully lit tree, open the box one by one, take out the article we’ve put in, and share our thoughts concerning it. What follows is not only remarkable―it’s priceless.
Cherished memories spill forth, accompanied by gratitude, laughter, and an occasional tear while the spirit of Christmases past and present wondrously fill the room, our hearts, and our lives. Those who have passed on take their rightful place within our family circle once again in almost tangible presence, reminding us that they live on beneath everything we do and all that we are.
Today, the red box, opened numerous times at several Christmas family gatherings, appears no worse for wear, and its profound impact on our family lingers. The God-given gift of family is a circle that can never be broken—a gift that will always remain. And just as the impact of the little red box will maintain a prominent place within our lives long after the sparkle of Christmas has passed, so the spirits of those we love will continue to flicker forever within our hearts.
Perhaps this Christmas, you too will choose to place an ordinary, empty box beneath your tree. You’ll be astonished at how full it can be when the true Spirit of Christmas fills it with His love and pours its contents upon your hearts and lives.
His outpouring is truly an indescribable gift―one that will always remain.