.. ... . .. . .. .. .. .. ..... . .. . ... . . .. . . .... ... .. . .I want to share something, with you, Something that I heard on the radio the other morning. A story that certainly brought a tear to my eye. Of course! This is a thought provoking, but beautiful story. I have to tell you, I don't remember it word-for-word, so this is my paraphrased, colorfully added to and close-to-my-heart edited version, as it came to mind...as best as it could.
Please enjoy... Christmas Kisses!
When he noticed the empty cardboard roll from wrapping paper; last year's only remaining roll - lying on the floor with snips and shreds of gold paper by its side, he became infuriated at the thought of this completely wasted paper!!
Taking it out on his darling soon-to-be four year old, the obvious guilty party... he noticed the gold box tucked in and under the branches of their scraggly Charlie Brown. He fumed. Sending her to bed, that cold Christmas Eve, leaving her in tears and hard, harsh words in her ear.
He sat in fuming silence... angry. Angry that life had taken such a turn and that his life and dreams were unraveling to a tangled mess, like any string of lights always do. This year? Poof, his lights were out! He was doing his best, but he had nothing left. He hardly cared any more and why should he?
The dreaded Christmas morning came and he woke to the pitter patter of his girl's bare feet. Through sleep deprived eyes he observed she held in her hand the fated gold wrapped box, wrapped as best as any near four year old could do. Embarrassed by last night's overreaction - he tried his best to muster a smile for his girl, especially as he realized the effort she had made to grant this gift to him. Rising from his bed, looking as disheveled as he felt. He took the gift from her hand...amazed at once by its nare rattle and lightness.
No surprise, here, that is anger mounted once more- when he opened it to find not a single thing was inside the box!
"ELLIE, YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO PUT SOMETHING INSIDE", he yelled. "You don't give empty boxes as gifts..." he continued in a degrading huff. "Don't you know that when you give someone a gift you're supposed to actually put something inside the box?", and he tossed it to the floor.
His little girl looked up at him with spilling tears in her eyes and said, "Oh, Daddy, it's not empty". "I blew kisses into the box. Lots of them! Until the whole box was filled up - all the way to the top". Her voice trembled... "all of them are for you, Daddy!" - wiping her eyes and tucking in her lip, cringing at what might come next.
However, This time the father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl and sobbed. Begging her for forgiveness he picked up the box, with its crumpled gold paper and held it near, almost crushing it between them as he embraced his young girl's tear-stained face again and again. His own tears failing to subside...
Later that night, as he settled his little one into her bed, he sat by her side for a long, long time. Till her sweet little breaths began to even out into deep and peaceful sleep.
How could such a little one have this great a love for him, despite his constant shortcoming and rage... a love like this? When he was such a mess? Christmas.
Christmas isn't Christmas - till it happens in your heart!
He sat to his thoughts a humbled man.
Time moved on...
And for each Christmas thereafter, the father and daughter, continued to exchange that one "empty gift box" - wrapped and rewrapped in gold paper as a constant reminder of their gifts of love and forgiveness that they had for one another. You see! Just days before her eighth birthday - his daughter passed with an unforeseen, unexpected illness that took her so young a life. It could have been yet another twisted turn to his already unsettled past. But love and time had changed this man. Nothing could steal his joy! His joy of Christmas! Nothing.
The story goes on to relate that this forever-changed man kept that box by his bed for the days and years to come, as a ready reminder. Whenever he felt down or discouraged by life's continued unraveling - he would take out an imaginary kiss - and remember the great love of the child, his child, who had put it there.
To this day, those kisses have never run dry.
Love has come at Christmas.
Love for us, Oh LOVE divine!
He was born at Christmas.
Love be yours and mine.