Frost crackled the window panes, and my toes curled with each step across the cold wood floors in our Connecticut living room. My dad jabbed the crusty, burned out wood from last night’s fire, his mug of coffee steaming on a coaster nearby.
Mom tinkered in the kitchen, doctoring breakfast and making more coffee.
My sister and I scurried past Dad. In the family room, our Christmas tree was lit up despite the early hour, and I couldn’t keep the grin off my face.
It was Christmas morning, my ninth year enjoying tinsel and twinkly lights, and two enormous boxes sat behind the tree.
I glanced at Mindy. My grin grew so big my face felt like it would split. One big box for her, one for me. Climbing over my sister and her strewn-about stocking treasures, I ignored my stocking and reached for the huge gift.
“Kerri Anne” was scrawled across one label; “Melinda Sue” across the other.
Anticipation built as Mom and Dad joined us. We began with the smaller gifts: Breyer horses, books, and board games. A shirt thrown in for good measure. Starchy church clothes from grandparents, outfits we’d only wear once, probably for pictures to send to them.
Finally, it was time.
The huge box–as big as our Golden Retriever Taffy and wrapped meticulously by my engineer dad–beckoned. Mindy and I shredded the wrapping paper and tore the tape. Yanking open the cardboard sides, I struggled to lift the awkward gift out.
A frown touched my lips then spread to my face. What in the world was this?
A large blue pillow filled my lap, all practicality and no pizazz. It was funny-shaped–high in the back and squared off with arm rests on each side.
“It’s a reading pillow,” Dad smiled, sipped his coffee. “You can use it on your bed or the floor.”
I was a bookworm, just like him. But a pillow? This huge, marvelous box held a lumpy pillow that did nothing?
I learned a valuable lesson that day. Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better with gifts. Now, remembering this precious memory and how I did eventually enjoy and appreciate that comfortable pillow, I’m reminded that size doesn’t matter with God, either.
God’s gifts can’t be measured by yardsticks or compared to earthly trinkets. They’re eternally valuable. After all, His greatest gift–His biggest, small gift–came packaged as a tiny baby.
Immanuel. The Alpha and Omega. Our Deliverer. Cornerstone. Dayspring. The Lamb of God. The great I Am.
Jesus is the biggest little gift we will ever receive, and He fits perfectly in every heart.
Merry CHRISTmas to you and yours!