I love to read, and I love to read to my kids. I especially love to read stories to them that have a meaning behind them, or that teach a lesson. At Christmas time, we add stories about the nativity to our reading list. This year we’ve added The Sparkle Box, from Ideals Publications, to our holiday reading list.
The Sparkle Box, written by Jill Hardie and illustrated by Christine Kornacki, is a touching story that teaches about giving at Christmas time. As Sam, the main character, thinks about his Christmas list, holiday parties, and more, there is a mysterious box that sits atop the mantel by the fireplace. Throughout the Christmas season, Sam’s mom explains that they have to add to the Sparkle Box for it to be ready at Christmas. Wen Sam finally opens it on Christmas morning, instead of a gift he finds only slips of paper that record the family’s good deeds. His parents explain that the things that they’ve done throughout the season, like give blankets to the poor and donating to a water well project in Africa, were in fact gifts for Jesus.
I won’t lie, I cried as I read this story to my kids. I cried because the story embodies the lessons my Mom taught me about giving, and because they are precisely the lessons I want my children to learn. We volunteer at a food pantry for that very reason.
As I folded together the included Sparkle Box to put on our mantel, Sister clapped excitedly and squealed, “We get to give gifts to Jesus!!” Indeed, we do.
Learn more by following Ideals Publications on Facebook.
Ideals Books would like to give one lucky TBC reader a copy of The Sparkle Box to start your own faith centered tradition with.