I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus that He said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35 NKJ)
Did you ever get one of these Lifesavers Books for Christmas when you were a kid? I did and I remember how I savored each roll of candy circles. I had a terrible sweet tooth when I was young. Well, I admit that I still have that sweet tooth, but the difference between now and then was that we didn’t get much bought candy back then. Most of our sweets were homemade cookies or jams and maybe ice cream now and again. We did sometimes make candy. Homemade chocolate candy and popcorn were favorite snacks and really good together. Still, it was a treat to get bought candy and there was just something about those rolls of lifesavers in a little book. I loved books then too.
So when I got a Christmas memory story from Jean Ann about a time she hoped to get a Lifesaver book of candy, I knew how she felt. She has a touching story of how her mother helped her learn a lesson about giving and receiving gifts that has stayed with her all her life. So here’s Jean Ann’s story.
When I was in first grade, we had a gift exchange for Christmas. My heart was set on receiving a box that opened like a book and contained rolls of Lifesavers (that was something that my family would never buy). I watched other kids unwrap their boxes of Lifesavers and I got more excited by the minute. My teacher finally put a wrapped gift on my desk. I was so excited and hurriedly unwrapped it to find a little plastic angel (with a price tag still attached) and a handkerchief. I was so disappointed. I didn’t cry, but I remember that I wanted to.
When I walked in the door of my house, my disappointment about a chintzy angel and an “old” handkerchief “let loose”. Then Mom sat me down and set me straight. My gift-giver was a skinny frail looking little girl who lived with her brother and grandmother in what once was a chicken house. She gave the best she had and something that she probably would have been very happy to receive, something that she thought I would like. Mom ended with “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” Even as a 6 year old, I was ashamed of myself. That Christmas I learned what it meant when someone gives the best she has to offer.
Every year since that Christmas 1952 the plastic angel which no longer has its shine and color hangs on our Christmas tree. Every year I retell this story to my family and I remember my classmate and the gift that had far more value than the 29 cents sticker.
Love your story, Jean Ann, and how you have shared the story with your family through the years. Sometimes the blessing is in receiving a gift with joy and grace as I’m sure you always did after that. And I hope you got that book of lifesavers sometime along the way on other Christmas days.
Remember, you have until Saturday, December 16th to enter my Christmas giveaway. You can enter by leaving a comment here or sending me an e-mail from my Contact Page. You can see the prizes and details on my News & Events Page.
As always thanks for reading and for sharing stories with me.