Friday, December 21, 2012

The Christmas Box

I don't usually have time to read at Christmas (or do much of anything else) because I am so busy, but this year, I didn't direct our church's Christmas play, so I've had some time to focus on Christmas. I've gone to see some Christmas plays and I've been reading Christmas books.

One of them is "The Christmas Box" by Richard Paul Evans.What a sweet little book! I was immediately intrigued when the character found a wooden box that had a Nativity carved on the lid.

I recommend this book. It is a nice short read with a beautiful lesson.

The book also has inspired me to do a writing prompt.

Writing Prompt:
You find a beautiful wooden box in a dusty old attic. The lid has a Nativity carved in it. What's in it? who did it belong to? Write for 15 minutes.

Here is my response:

It was Christmas break and I visited Nan like I always did when I came home from college. As boredom overtook me, Nan suggested I go into the attic to see I could find something that I might like to have. It would be her Christmas gift to me. 

As I rummaged through the contents of my grandmother’s attic, I opened a hope chest and there underneath two handmade quilts was a wooden box. My hands felt a carving on top even before I saw it. When I pulled it into the light I saw an ornately carved Nativity scene on the top. The rich colored wood swirled into figures of Mary holding baby Jesus, Joseph watching her, two shepherds, animals, and an angel hovering above the stable. 

I sat for a long time in the quiet of the attic, touching each figure. The smooth wood was cool under my fingers. Finally, I opened the box. The lid pulled upwards easily, but I was disappointed to find that the box was empty. 

I sighed. It would have been cool to find something of value in there. As I sat holding the box, though, my thoughts turned deeper. It wasn’t yet Christmas and the emptiness of the box reminded me of the empty manger and how I should be anticipating Jesus’ birth. I smiled at that, but then a new thought hit me. The empty box seemed to represent the empty tomb. Suddenly everything from church and Sunday School made sense. The gravity of my faith hit me.

When the tears finally stopped, I wiped off them off with my sleeve, and hugged the box tight to my chest. I had found my Christmas gift.

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