The Oldest Gift #4 in the 12 Blogs of Christmas

Carefully using the paste stick, Sissy’s sticky little fingers made a mess of the Christmas gift. She attempted to re-apply the construction paper to the recycled juice can. Ostensibly, the finished product would be a pencil holder, but to the discerning eye of her teacher, only a parent could love the sloppiness. But it’s the thought that counts, right? 

A small family was drawn on the green paper with another one holding a duffle bag on the back side. Sissy explained that was her daddy who was coming home soon.This gift would be waiting for him. Lisa drew a triangle-shaped tree with crayon-colored ornaments.

Placing the school-made pencil holders in decorated sacks, the kindergartners lined up excitedly as they prepared to leave. Sissy held her sack in one hand and her lunch pail in the other. She could hardly wait to place her sack under the tree, because Christmas meant Daddy was finally coming home.

Now, nearly fifty years later, as Sissy packed up her parent’s belongings, she found that paper-covered pencil holder on her father’s desk. The crayon drawings still depicted a family once apart, but soon to be together for Christmas. 

Even though her elderly father had passed on, all the special memories had not—nor had an old, recycled juice can pencil holder. Proving yet again that the gifts that last are the ones made with love.

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