the golden box

I came across a short and heart-warming Christmas story, and wanted to share it with you. It’s not known whether this story truly happened, or it is a work of fiction. Nonetheless, it’s beautiful and inspiring. Here’s how it goes:

Once upon a time, there was a man who worked very hard just to keep food on the table for his family. This particular year a few days before Christmas, he punished his little five-year-old daughter after learning that she had used up the family’s only roll of expensive gold wrapping paper.

As money was tight, he became even more upset when on Christmas Eve he saw that the child had used all of the expensive gold paper to decorate one shoebox she had put under the Christmas tree. He also was concerned about where she had gotten the money to buy what was in the shoebox.

Nevertheless, the next morning the little girl, filled with excitement, brought the gift box to her father and said, “This is for you, Daddy!”

As he opened the box, the father was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, now regretting how he had punished her.

But when he opened the shoebox, he found it was empty and again his anger flared. “Don’t you know, young lady,” he said harshly, “when you give someone a present, there’s supposed to be something inside the package!”

The little girl looked up at him with sad tears rolling from her eyes and whispered: “Daddy, it’s not empty. I blew kisses into it until it was all full.”

The father was crushed. He fell on his knees and put his arms around his precious little girl. He begged her to forgive him for his unnecessary anger.

An accident took the life of the child only a short time later. It is told that the father kept this little gold box by his bed for all the years of his life. Whenever he was discouraged or faced difficult problems, he would open the box, take out an imaginary kiss, and remember the love of this beautiful child who had put it there.

Thoughtfulness and love are priceless. During the holiday time, we all look at external things to make us happy. We run around looking for the perfect gifts for our friends and loved ones. But in this chase, we forget the very people for whom we are buying gifts. 

As I wrote previously in this blog: Buying is not loving; loving is loving.

No matter what your circumstances are at this point of time, whether you’re struggling or wealthy, going through tough times or in the best phase of your life, remember: you can’t put a price tag on unconditional love. And nothing, no matter how expensive it is, comes close to it. 

We can make the holidays more meaningful by gifting our presence and our love to the people close to us. Gifts don’t make Christmas meaningful, it’s the people and their love and warmth that make it worthwhile and joyous. 

Merry Christmas to all of you!