For the past several years, I have really been convicted by how commercialized we have made Christmas. It makes me sad to think of Jesus’s very humble beginnings – being born in a stable – and how we have turned that into a time when we shower our kids with gifts that they definitely don’t need. I mean, where did the whole gift-giving aspect of Christmas come from anyway? I’ve tried to cut back on the amount of money that we spend; but then I still feel stupid for buying cheaper things that we don’t need – and likely didn’t even want – just for the sake of having wrapped gifts under the tree.
So, when the opportunity to review a book with a tagline that reads “a gift with the power to change Christmas” came my way, I jumped at the chance. Because, quite frankly, I’m ready for a real change! And I was curious to see what such a book would suggest.
Here is a bit about the book from inside the book jacket:
Sam can’t wait for Christmas! He’s excited about the parties, the food, and, of course, the presents. One gift has him especially curious – a sparkling silver box on the mantel. Sam’s parents will only tell him that the Sparkle Box is a special gift they will open together, but that they need to fill it first. Meanwhile, as Sam and his family give to people in need throughout the season, he starts to see how fortunate he really is. And on Christmas morning, when Sam finally opens the mysterious Sparkle Box, what he finds inside sheds light on the true meaning of Christmas.
Author Jill Hardie and her family began placing a gift for Jesus under their Christmas tree as a way of bringing more meaning to the holiday. The first time they opened His gift, the commercialism of the season melted away and they felt a profound joy and peace. Jill hopes that The Sparkle Box will spark a new Christmas tradition, bringing light into thousands of lives.
At a very early age, Christine Kornacki developed a love for painting and bringing stories to life. After receiving a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford, her dreams of illustrating children's books began to take shape. She spends her days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming cafe in New Haven, Connecticut.
So, what did I think? I loved it! This book, with it’s simple story of a family doing random acts of kindness for those in need, filled me with ideas of what my family can do during the holiday season (and beyond). Sam’s mom tells him that “the Sparkle Box is our gift to Jesus on Christmas Day, His birthday”. Jesus should be the one receiving the gifts – not us – right?
As I was reading the book to Ian, I was reminded of the words of Jesus, from Matthew 25:44-46:
44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (ESV)
Since the book came with an included Sparkle Box, my family is ready to get started filling ours with presents for Jesus!
How about you? Would you like to win a copy of The Sparkle Box? I have one copy to give away to one of my readers. If you’d like to win, please follow the Rafflecopter instructions below.
NOTE: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."