It was just a small, white envelope on the family Christmas tree. It all began because my husband, Mike, hated the commercial aspects of Christmas. I decided to search for something special just for him.
Our son was on the wrestling team at his school. Shortly before Christmas, there was a match against an inner-city church team. These youngsters, dressed in thread bare shoes and uniforms, presented a sharp contrast to our boys’ in their spiffy new uniforms. We took every weight class. Mike shook his head sadly, “I wish just one of them could have won,” he said.
That's when the idea for his present came. That afternoon, I bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes, and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, note inside, telling Mike what I had done, and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years.
Each Christmas, I followed the tradition. The envelope became the highlight of Christmas. As the children grew the envelope never lost its allure. We lost Mike last year to cancer. When Christmas rolled around, grief stricken, I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree only to find it was joined by three more, one from each of our three children.
"Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor." Romans 12:10
Lord—help the way I love and give to others to become contagious!