All Wrapped Up

by Steve Laube

When I was a boy my family had the tradition of opening our gifts on Christmas Eve. But another tradition was that there would be one more gift waiting for us the next morning, Christmas Day, from “Santa.”

I have a vivid memory, as a little boy, of being disappointed one Christmas Eve that the thing I wanted most was not among my unwrapped presents. However I knew, I was just certain, that it would be waiting for me the next morning.

So on Christmas day I woke well before anyone else and crept into the living room to see if my hope was true. There, leaning against the fireplace hearth was the package…with my name on it. It was the right size and festively wrapped. I ran my hands around the edges and across the face of the package hoping to catch a glimpse through the paper of its contents. There was no doubt. This was what I had been anticipating. But I couldn’t open it yet because we had to wait for everyone to wake up. So I waited. . . for hours. I sat for a while but eventually played with my other new toys while making a few loud noises hoping to raise those other sleepyheads. But I never left the room and my eyes rarely strayed from that wrapped package.

The anticipation was palatable. So much so that even as I write this I can feel again the ache in my chest. The longing, the desire to rip open that paper with unfettered joy. I knew what the package contained but I had to wait to take possession of it and make it mine.

“And you will find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in the manger.” A gift. Wrapped tightly. Waiting to be revealed. We can look and know exactly what the gift will be. Our Savior. Our Hope. Our joy.

May you recapture the joy of anticipation this Christmas. For God’s gift to us is far greater than anything we can ever hope or imagine. So much more. And it is a gift the world is literally dying to receive.

18 Responses to All Wrapped Up

  1. Diana Harkness December 17, 2012 at 5:23 am #

    What an exquisite metaphor! Thank you. The last few years Christmas has been something to “get through” rather than a time of anticipation, joy, or excitement. Just what I needed on this gray morning only 8 days away from that event. (7, if you count the Christmas Eve service.)

  2. Connie Almony December 17, 2012 at 6:35 am #

    Yes, and the more you share it with others, the more Joy you get to keep!!!

  3. Caroline Friday December 17, 2012 at 7:05 am #

    Loved this – What was in that package? Can you tell us?
    Caroline Friday

    • Steve Laube December 18, 2012 at 9:55 am #

      Thank you all for your comments.

      Caroline? The present was one of those manual hockey games that were popular in the late 60s. Sort of like Foosball but with little tin hockey players attached to long metal rods.

  4. Wade Webster December 17, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    Well stated, Steve.
    It’s far too easy for us to get distracted by all the fluff around us. I hope we never lose the excitement we first felt when we opened God’s precious gift to us when we accepted Jesus as our personal savior.
    Merry Christmas

  5. Gail Gaymer Martin December 17, 2012 at 8:14 am #

    Steve, This tremendous analogy is a vivid depiction of our anticipation of the birth of our Savior. The sad situation is that so many do not anticipate that gift but the ones those earthly treasures that decay and rust and that theives can steal. My prayer is that more and more people realize where their life, health and joy comes from, and they turn their excitement and anxious waiting toward the greatest gift, the tiny babe born in Bethlehem. Wishing you a blessed Christmas and all good things in the new year.

  6. Robin Patchen December 17, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    Beautiful story, Steve. Thanks for sharing. With all the craziness of the holidays, it’s easy to forget why we celebrate. Thanks for the reminder this morning.

  7. Ane Mulligan December 17, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    A well-timed and beautiful post, Steve.

  8. Angie Dicken December 17, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    All the other presents fall to the wayside as we are reminded of why we need that One Gift wrapped in the manger. Thank you for this analogy. Isn’t it glorious how the teachable moments that God gave us as children, ground us in our faith years later?

  9. Becky Doughty December 17, 2012 at 9:17 am #


    Thank you for the poignant and heart-felt reminder. What a lovely gift you’ve shared with us.


  10. Sharon Gillenwater December 17, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    Well said! Thank you for bringing our focus back to Jesus in such a beautiful way.

    Blessings and Joyful Christmas!

  11. Meghan Carver December 17, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    Terrific post, Steve. Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas!

  12. Jeanne December 17, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    I loved reading a vignette from your boyhood. 🙂 The application and reminder of what we really celebrate on Christmas morn is what I needed today. Thank you.

    In case I don’t get to say it later, Merry Christmas!

  13. Jan Thompson December 17, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    Well said! Have a Merry Christmas! Luke 2:10-11.

  14. Jan Cline December 17, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    This is a message we can’t hear often enough. It seems that Christmas can be a time of great joy and great sadness at the same time. My hope is that I can encourage someone this holiday season by living the true message of Christmas – the hope and joy of life everlasting.

  15. Peter DeHaan December 17, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    Thanks, Steve, for directing our focus where it rightly belongs.

  16. Jenni Brummett December 17, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    Merry Christmas Steve!

    Thank you for the reminder to ‘recapture the joy of anticipation this Christmas”.

  17. Kimberly E. Lepins December 20, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    I read this the day it posted and throughout the day, I kept thinking about it, how beautifully well-written it was, but the question plagued me all day: What the heck was he wanting so bad? I just went through a few of the comments and saw that it was a hockey game! Thanks for the reminder of the precious gift we have in Christ, our King and Redeemer and also for the realization that we need to yearn for Him with that kind of anticipation, as a deer pants for water, so my soul pants for you, Oh, God!
    Blessings to you and your family,
    Kimberly (Evinda)

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