Santa is comin’ to town.
But if I’m checking my list correctly from Christmas’ past, he hasn’t always brought the perfect gift.
For instance, there have been slipper socks with 10 toes, guaranteed to drive someone with ticklish feet -- me -- to the funny farm. And then there were my footed pajamas. They drove Bill crazy.
But the biggest disappointment was the year of the Big Box. It arrived with the snowflakes, complete with Santa’s helper who planned to stay over for Christmas.
“I just know you and Bill are going to be thrilled with this gift from Santa,” my mom smiled with glee as she wrestled the Big Box to the tree. “It’s something you need!” an elfish sparkle in her eye.
In a wink, we were warned to stay away. No snooping and prying like little kids -- even though she knew we still were on the inside.
While the stockings hung by the chimney and the toasty fire roared, Bill and I would gaze at the Big Box, temptation calling. But we behaved ourselves and spent our cold nights guessing.
“I’ll bet it’s a new television set!” my husband, Bill, speculated as he sized up what could fit inside. “You know we’ve wanted one.”
I shook my head in disbelief. Santa had never been right yet.
But with the sound of reindeer hooves approaching, I wondered. Could this be the year we’d thrill to the perfect gift on Christmas morning? Would our young children stand-by in awe and envy, their little hands clutching Made in China plastic dolls, while we got the loot instead?
Cookies and milk disappeared. The day had arrived to open the Big Box.
Our eyes filled with wonder. We held our breath.
Carefully, Bill cut the ribbon. Anticipation built as he and I slowly peeled the colorful wrapping, the long-awaited brown box revealing its contents.
“TOILET PAPER?!!!” we chorused, while the elf chuckled and the children smiled.
It was a case of disappointment.
That was the Christmas I learned the old familiar saying is true: The best gifts come in small packages.
That’s especially true of the baby Jesus who came to Earth so long ago -- a tiny gift from God, but big on love for you and me. And as I look back over the years since I received that heavenly present into my life, there’s never been a moment’s disappointment.
Without a doubt, God gave me -- and this world -- the perfect gift.