Christmas reminds us that gifts come in all shapes and sizes, and the monetary value or usefulness of a gift is far less meaningful than the intent, especially when given by a child.
Chase was a happy kid and he loved spending time with his mentor, Ken. He was open to doing his schoolwork, playing a game, or making a craft, as long as he was doing it with Ken. They’d been meeting each week for three years, and every week, their friendship grew. After Thanksgiving, Chase told Ken that he’d already picked something out for Ken’s Christmas present. Chase was so excited, and Ken was eager to find out what this special gift could be. Chase was counting down the days until he could give his present to Ken – and he told Ken every time they met, “21 days, 14 days, next week!”
The last time they met before Christmas break, Chase was ready. “Close your eyes!” he said, “and hold out your hand.” With closed eyes, Ken held out his hand and waited for the gift to be placed in his palm. Chase softly placed his gift into Ken’s hand: a small stuffed dog. It was clear this was no ordinary stuffed animal! It was one of Chase’s favorite, well-worn and well-loved toys, and he wanted Ken to have it. Deeply touched, Ken recognized that Chase had given him something he truly cared about.
Later that school year, Chase moved away, and that little stuffed dog became more than just a gift. It was a reminder of the real gift that Ken received that year: a true friendship with a great kid named Chase.