I wrote this short story many years ago. It follows an old-school, omniscient storytelling point of view and portrays an allegory of the real Gift of Christmas. Like a physical present, which cannot fully be known or experienced without unwrapping it, Jesus and the gift of life He offers cannot be experienced unless it’s unwrapped and stepped into.
Once upon a time John purchased a gift for his son, Michael.
“This is exactly what Michael needs,” John said, as he lovingly placed the gift in a box and wrapped it in gold paper. He set the present on a chest of drawers in Michael’s room. John could hardly wait for his son to discover the gift, but day after day went by without Michael mentioning his gift. John waited patiently. He knew that at the right time, Micheal would see it.
Finally, one day Michael stayed home sick from school and had nothing better to do but lie on his bed and and think. He spotted the gift right where his father had left it.
“I wonder what this is?” Michael said to himself. “Funny I never saw this here before.” He walked over to the chest and picked up the gift. He turned it over and around, studying it from all sides. He could not decide whether he should open it or not, so he waited.
When John came home from work that night, there was Michael with the package in his arms, shaking it, examining the paper and bow, and turning it over and over. With excitement John asked him, “Why don’t you open it, son?”
“Is it for me?” Michael asked, his brows puzzled together. “It doesn’t have a name tag on it.”
“Yes. Who else would it be for?” John shuffled his hand over Michael’s hair. It had been only him and Michael since they had lost Madeline, his wife and Michael’s mother, to cancer three years prior.
“Oh. Well, I wanted to look at it for a while.” Michael turned the box around. It glimmered under his touch like a living thing and both fascinated and awed him.
“I see. I’m glad you’ve discovered the gift, but I’ve been waiting a long time for you to see what’s inside. The gift really isn’t yours unless you unwrap it.” John pointed out, eager for his son to experience what he had purchased for him.
Michael looked at his father and sighed, clearly unsure about pulling the wrapping apart. Slowly but steadily he peeled back the paper a little at a time. Finally he pulled it clear off with a loud rip. Michael held the box in his lap. It glowed in all the colors of the rainbow and seemed to shine a different color in whatever way he turned the box, almost like a prism. “It’s so cool!” Michael’s face lit up, reflecting the light of the box.
“You know,” John gently said. “There is more to the present if you open the box. You’ll find out what is really inside.”
“I guess, Dad, but this box so awesome.” Michael put the box back on the dresser in his room and admired it often. The days passed and Michael became well again. Life returned to normal. Every once in a while, John would remind Michael, “There’s still something in the box yet.”
“What more could there be?” Michael would ask.
One day Michael realized that he had grown tired of just looking at the box in passing. He intently wondered what was inside. He walked over to his dresser and opened the lid. Instantly, a bright, white light flooded his room. He had to squint to see. With his hand Michael searched around inside the box, but he felt nothing. His fingers met only light. He continued to search, and Michael soon discovered that there were no sides and no bottom. Now there was not even a lid, for it had melted away into the light.
The light gave him joy, and he rejoiced at having such a marvelous present. Michael looked at his gift of light everyday, shining like a beacon from his dresser. He would put his finger in and feel for a bottom that was not there.
One day he decided to try sticking his whole arm in, right up to this armpit. His arm went in with no problem. The next day he decided to squeeze his head in. Suddenly, he could see all around inside. The bright light shimmered like raining glitter.
“Wow!” exclaimed Michael. “I can’t believe I only wanted to look at the outside!”
The next day he simply jumped into the light, and it surrounded him. When Michael stepped out he glowed. The gift of light clung to him, and wherever he went, he took a bit of the light with him. One day he felt really sad that his friends didn’t have a light like his.
“Dad,” said Michael. “Do you have any more gifts like you gave me? My friends need this light too?” Michael turned up his face with expectation. He realized that his father had always given him the good things that he needed, and Michael had needed the light. He didn’t know how he had lived without it.
“Son, they already have their gifts, they just don’t know it,” John told Michael. “It’s too dark for them to see the gift, waiting right in front of them. Maybe your light can help.”
So Michael patiently shined the gift of love and light on his friends, and after a time they could see their gifts too.
I hope you enjoyed this simple Christmas story. This Christmas I hope you have or will open up the Gift of Light which came down from the Father of Lights many years ago.
Christmas Blessings, J