My 4 Favorite Christmas Gifts

img_1711I want to tell you about my four favorite Christmas gifts of all time.

The first one was given to me by Steve.  As mentioned in an earlier post, Steve and I had virtually no money our first Christmas together.  So, we agreed to not exchange gifts.  However, when I awoke on Christmas morning, a little vase holding three roses was sitting in the middle of our tiny kitchen table.  The card said it all.  “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.  May these roses represent our life… surrounded by Christ…the third strand.”  I took a picture of those roses. For that reason, they bloom year round.

My second favorite gift was given to me by our son, Nathan.  That particular year he was six years old.  We were into our first year of home schooling and he had learned to read.  His Christmas gift for me was a little basket with some dried flowers glued to the top.  As I opened the lid I saw a little card inside. In his six-year-old printing he had written, “Thank you for teaching me to read.”  I’ll never forget that feeling of love and pride, when I realized by teaching him to read, I had given him the world.  Now, he makes his living as a “word smith” creating songs and using his exceptional skill and love of language to reach the world.

My third favorite gift was from my mother.  We had a large family and one particular year we drew names for Christmas.  Mom got my name.  She asked me what I wanted.  I told her I wanted her to use a cassette recorder and to tell me all about herself.  I wanted her to tell me her secrets, to tell me things she had never told anyone.  She did it!!  And oh what a source of comfort that recording has been to me since her death to cancer in 1996.

Finally, my fourth favorite gift was given to me by our daughter, Heidi.  She was four years old that memorable Christmas and she had done her own shopping for everyone with the five dollars we gave her.  As she presented her gift to me, I fought back a chuckle.  She handed me a big ball of scotch tape.  “Oh, Heidi, a wad of scotch tape…I love it!  Thank you so much!”  (We mothers are so easy to please, don’t you think.)

Heidi stood there grinning as I graciously received her offering.  I started to go about my business when she said, “No, Mama, there’s something inside.”  Sure enough, as I peeled away about twenty feet of tape, I saw a little plastic bag.  It still had the .99 cent tag on it.  I opened up the bag and there it was, a little plastic baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph.  “Oh!  Heidi!”  I said, “Thank you.  I love this little nativity!”

However, Heidi didn’t budge.  She just stood there looking at me.  I could tell by the hurt look on her little face that I had failed to fully gasp the incredible value of her gift. She choked back her emotions and said, “Oh, Mama… Jesus glows in the dark!”

I could hardly speak. I knew Heidi’s words were a heaven-sent reminder of what Christmas is all about. With all the darkness in this world such as sickness, discouragement, loneliness, fear, financial stress, and for some, the loss of a loved one, how desperately we need Him to glow. I certainly need His light in my life… how about you?

We pray that your world will be illuminated by His hope this year. It’s why He came to this world. He can help you overcome a troubled past, strengthen your present day, and give you the courage to face an uncertain future. Remember, He glows in the dark!

Merry Christmas!

Annie Chapman

PS… Here’s a song that Steve wrote titled, “The Stable.” It contains a message of hope about the “Light of the World” whose birthday we celebrate at this time.


  1. Mark Bowyer says

    Just read Steve’s story about the bullet of sin and enjoyed it as I do all his stories but this one is awesome but I would have to say the last gift would be my favorite.

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