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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • The ugly box

  • I love Christmas — always have, always will. In fact, I think Christmas gets more and more enjoyable each and every year.
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  • I love Christmas — always have, always will. In fact, I think Christmas gets more and more enjoyable each and every year.
    As a child, Christmas was anticipated for weeks beforehand. School plays, the brown bags they have us all complete with the orange, a nut or two and candy. Lots and lots of candy. For many growing up when I did, those brown bags were a big part of our gifts.
    Then as adults, we had our own children, children that we determined would have even bigger and better Christmases than we had. We went all out, sometimes even beyond our means — and I'm sure beyond what was best for them. Nonetheless, we did it and we still do it and, if truth be known, it probably has gotten beyond “too big.” Presents! More and more presents.
    Yes, the true spirit of Christmas is in danger of being swept aside by a glut of presents. So why do we do it? Because our children now have children, and if having children is a joy, what superlative do you use to describe having grandchildren?
    And just when you think it can't get any better, here come the great-grandchildren.
    With grandkids and great-grandkids come new challenges. So … the glut continues.
    One year at our house, after the presents were opened, my wife asked me about a particular gift that she remembered me buying at an antique mall. I suddenly remembered there were several gifts in a box in a closet that I had forgotten to wrap.
    I announced that we were not finished, and I went and brought out the big box. Each gift in this old, ugly box was just something that was a special reminder to me of each of my family members, gifts that often were useless but nonetheless something they could identify with.
    That ugly old box was a big hit. They all loved it, waiting to see what I would draw out next and who would get it.
    The next year, all the gifts were wrapped, and there was no ugly box. “What, no ugly box?” they all shouted. “We want our ugly box!”
    So now, some 30 years later, the ugly box is a regular fixture. What started out as six surprise gifts is now more than 20, so the challenge of finding unique items requires a year-long effort. That’s fine with me. Like I said, I love Christmas.
    As we thank God for our families, let us all be reminded that it is God’s son that gives true meaning to Christmas. Let’s remind all our children that the greatest gift of all is Jesus, our gift from God.

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