It was the Christmas season, and everyone was shopping for their family. Everyone was spending money, whether it was a large or small budget, on items that would make their loved ones smile with joy, and if you were lucky, maybe even cry a little.
Our little girl had no money. She was small and young, too young to even procure a job to earn money. But my how much she wanted to give a gift to each one of her family members that would make them smile. Usually, at this time of year, her parents would give her some money to combine with some of the other jobless young children in the family; and together they could afford a small gift for everyone! The little girl wasn’t unappreciative of that, but this year, she wanted something she could do all on her own… something strictly from her. It would show everyone her independence, and that she was growing up and maturing! Oh yes, she must find a way to procure gifts of her own.
Earlier that year, the little girl had either been given or somehow obtained (she couldn’t really remember how she got it) a book that would solve her gift-giving problems. The book was one of those “do it yourself” books, and she discovered she needed no money! She could have a gift for everyone and not spend a dime. Which was good, because she didn’t have a dime. Eventually, the little girl began to plan and outline each persons gift, how she would personalize them, and even came up with some ideas of her own.
The little girl had one very grand gift planned for a special brother…one that she was very proud of, for the idea was of her own invention. So grand was this gift that it required an item much too large for her to carry, so she planned to go for a walk, find the item she needed for this grand gift, and have one of her older brothers carry it home for her. He reluctantly carried it home for her and, since he was far from oblivious to her gift-making schemes, muttered “I hope this isn’t for my Christmas present.” It just so happened that he was, but she refused to let it deter her for a moment. After all, he couldn’t possibly know what she would create from the item he carried.
The girl worked hard and perfected each of her gifts in her own mind. Christmas Day was fast approaching. She wrapped each of the gifts, except for the one, for it was too heavy to wrap. She put them all under the tree, and saved the last gift for setting out the night of Christmas Eve hoping it wouldn’t be seen.
The morning arrived, and everyone walked in to Christmas morning. Everyone opened their gifts. While it was humorous to the family that all the gifts from her were the same material, they were all differently painted with a name, a quote, or an animal. But the one the girl was proudest of was the chess set that sat under the tree. They were all rocks… every piece of the chess set… every gift given to her family… but oh the joy it filled her with to give even the gift of rocks.