And an Ann Voskamp Giveaway
If this post were a game show, then it's audience participation time.
In your years on the planet, what's one of the most memorable gifts you've ever received? (No cheating and saying "Jesus." If you've got Him, nothing else compares.)
What I'm asking you to share in the Comments is something you received that you'll never forget. It could be a gift that was tangible, or one unable to be wrapped. A gift truly extraordinary not because it was valuable or tops on your wish list, but because of what it represented to you.
While you're thinking, here are a couple of mine:
The wooden ice cream maker that one of my college friends carried across country when she traveled to my Illinois wedding from her home in New Jersey in 1976. Wanting to honor my request to serve as a bridesmaid, Laurel never told me she couldn't afford airfare or gas money. Instead, I learned of her decision to hitchhike when a semi-driver dropped her off on the highway in front of our farm, her bulky gift carried in her arms. Who could ever forget that kind of love?
More recently, my daughter Amber purchased an oversized pottery bowl for me in Poland when she and Ben were serving in eastern Europe.
Knowing it was too large to put in her suitcase and too fragile to stow in an overhead bin, Amber carried the bowl onto the plane and held it in her lap during the transcontinental flight. Since Ben had to stay in Europe to finish his tour of duty, Amber was traveling as a single parent, seven months pregnant, with two young children in tow and THAT BOWL.
Can you see why I treasure it so?
Just this morning, I read about Sean, a teenager whose family plunged into poverty when his father took his own life just before Christmas. The fifteen-year-old loved to read, and often frequented his local library to stay warm and escape from his grief.
Seeing Sean show up every week without a coat, the elderly librarian, Miss Terry, purchaed one from her own funds and gave it to him the next time he came in. That young middle-school dropout because the acclaimed southern writer Sean Dietrich, aka "Sean of the South." (You can read about Miss Terry's gift here.)
Now it's your turn!
Will you inspire the rest of us by posting a comment below about one of the most memorable gifts you've received?
Please do so by Sunday, December 17. I'll choose one comment at random and gift you with a hardcover copy of Ann Voskamp's classic Christmas book The Greatest Gift. It will arrive in time to go under your tree - a gift for you.
As for my gift? Why, that would be you. And Jesus.
"I don't want a Christmas you can buy. I don't want a Christmas you can make.What I want is a Christmas you can hold. A Christmas that holds me, remakes me, revives me. I want a Christmas that whispers, JESUS." Ann Voskamp
Maggie Wallem Rowe, 2023