As my favorite time of the year comes around again – the end (take it in context and in all senses of the word stained by prophetic doom),  I’m remembering all my Christmases.

Last Christmas I was privileged to be the guest speaker at a church in the Bronx. I shared about…wait for it….gifts. Surprised?! I highlighted that the best gifts are not the ones that are the most expensive, nor the ones that we expected, but the ones that reveal the thoughtfulness of the person giving it and the storied history behind the gift itself.

Here’s a romantic example. Boy meets girl for a blind date at a coffee shop. While reaching for his latte he clumsily pushed it off the table and the cup breaks on the floor. But his charm won the day and they get married a year later.

Some years into their marriage, they had a Christmas party where all their coupled friends got together to open one gift. All her lady friends there receive either expensive jewelry or exactly the technological gadget they wanted.

The boys are just squinting and slowly nodding at each other because of the elated responses of their wives. Then it’s our couples turn and our boy reveals a poorly wrapped whatever that was, then, as suspected, a collective gasp from everyone else filled the room. Our girl opens the package being slightly embarrassed. She knew they were having a rocky time in the marriage but this was not the time to be transparent.

As she looked into the wrapping she dropped to her knees sobbing. Our boy dropped to his knees next to her and they hugged…and hugged ….and hugged. Because between both their knees on the carpet in the wrapping paper was that broken mug from their first date all messily glued back together.

He whispered in her ear, “No matter how it looks, through effort, we will always stay together.”

Anything that is said should end, with the right touch, care and insight can always be a new beginning! End of the world and all! We just need the right gift.


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