The heart that gives….gathers. – Tao Te Ching
The Gold Wrapping Paper
There was a man who worked extremely hard just to keep food on the table for his family. This particular year a few days before Christmas, he punished his little five-year-old daughter after learning that she had used up the family’s only roll of expensive gold wrapping paper.
As money was tight, he became even more upset when on Christmas Eve he saw that the child had used all of the expensive gold paper to decorate one shoebox she had put under the Christmas tree. He also was concerned about where she had gotten money to buy what was in the shoebox.
Nevertheless, the next morning the little girl, filled with excitement, brought the gift box to her father and said, “This is for you, Daddy!”
As he opened the box, the father was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, now regretting how he had punished her.
But when he opened the shoebox, he found it was empty. He asked her why.
The little girl looked up at him and whispered: “Daddy, it’s not empty. I blew kisses into it until it was all full.”
The father felt awful and put his arms around his precious little girl. Thanking her for his gift.
An accident took the life of the little girl only a short time later. It is told that the father kept this little gold box by his bed for all the years of his life. Whenever he was discouraged or faced difficult problems, he would open the box, take out an imaginary kiss, and remember the love of this beautiful child who had put it there.
Often we feel pressured to give each other material gifts at Christmas, but what I loved about this story, is how special it is to receive a gift from the heart. It is priceless.