My kids love books. Even though my 7 year old brings home at least 3 books a week from her school’s library she still gets excited when she gets a new book all her own. I love that she is so into books and gets excited to receive new ones. Books are great gifts for kids and there are several books that will be under the tree for my kids this year, including The Sparkle Box.
Sam can’t wait for Christmas! He’s excited about the parties and the food and, of course, the gifts. One present in particular has Sam curious—a sparkling silver box on the mantel. Sam’s parents will only tell him that they will open the gift together, but that they need to fill it first. Throughout the holiday season, Sam and his family participate in various charitable acts together. On Christmas morning, Sam finally gets to open the Sparkle Box, where he finds slips of paper recording the family’s good deeds during the holiday season. Sam’s parents explain that the things that they’ve been doing for others are, in fact, a gift for Jesus. Sam realizes how fortunate he is and how important it is to help others.
The Sparkle Box Features:
>>10 x 10 picture book
>>hardcover with jacket
>>includes fold-out glitter box
>>Available in bookstores everywhere and on Amazon.
This book is written by, Jill Hardie, I was given the opportunity to ask her a few questions about herself and her book:
–Can you tell us about your family tradition with the Sparkle Box, how did it begin and how did it change your Christmas?
To help counter commercialism at Christmas, my husband and I began giving gifts to those in need, in honor of loved ones. While people seemed to like these gifts, one family member good-naturedly confessed, “I loved the gifts you used to buy me for Christmas!” My husband and I had a heart-to-heart talk and asked ourselves, “Whom are we really honoring with these gifts?” The answer was clear. We were honoring Jesus by giving gifts to those in need. That Christmas Eve, a gift was placed under our tree for Jesus. On Christmas morning, we opened Jesus’ gift before we opened our own. A simple, small gold foil jewelry box with a few pieces of paper in it was perched on top of a pile of presents. A tag on the outside said, “Jesus, we give these gifts to you to honor you on your birthday.” I opened the box and read the pieces of paper that represented the gifts we had purchased. A gift of a goat that will provide milk to a poor family. Mittens for the mitten tree at school for people that don’t have money to buy them. A shoe-box full of toys and candy that will bring joy to a poor child somewhere in the world. A feeling of peace and love came over me as I read those pieces of paper. My husband and I were moved to tears and our children were also touched. It was a profound experience. We had honored Jesus on his birthday and that centered everything. Every gift that morning was twice as wonderful!
Since then, we have continued The Sparkle Box tradition every Christmas. We love choosing gifts for Jesus and talk about what we’re getting Him for weeks in advance. It centers the season on Jesus and remembering those who are less fortunate, and that puts everything in perspective. It makes the simple joys of the season even more enjoyable and melts away the pressures of the season. Our children have learned that they truly are blessed to be a blessing–and they’ve learned the joy of giving.
– What are some practical and low cost ideas for how families can fill this box with gifts for others this holiday season?
You want to give something that is truly from the heart to Jesus. Something that shows Him you were thinking of Him when you chose The Sparkle Box gift. So while it doesn’t have to cost money, it should be something extra special. So for adults or families, they may want to do a service project. They could work at a soup kitchen, or volunteer to shovel a neighbor’s driveway every time in snows this winter. There are many lonely people at nursing homes. Adopting a person at a nursing home would be a beautiful gift. For children, the gift could be something small. Like Sam, they could purchase a pair of mittens. Or they could do chores to earn money and actually go grocery shopping to purchase 2-3 non perishable food items. Children love to earn the money themselves, so it’s not the cost of the item, it’s how it impact their hearts. There are more ideas on www.TheSparkleBox.com as well as a free printable chore chart, free Sparkle Jar craft instructions for children to make a jar to save money for Jesus’ gift and more.
–What do you hope readers will come away with after reading this book?
For adults, I hope they realize that there is a simple and beautiful way to center Christmas—honor Jesus on Christmas day with a gift just for Him. For children and adults alike, I hope they come away with the feeling that they can make a difference in the world by letting the light of Jesus shine through them, bringing light and hope into the lives of others.
Win it: Win your own copy of The Sparkle Box simply by leaving a comment telling us your best “Sparkle Box idea”, what gift or good deed could your family do together to help someone in need? The giveaway will end on November 28 and is open to US residents.
The giveaway portion has ended, our winner was selected via Random.org, comment number 11 (the 1st/top comment being #1 and last comment being #11) is our winner, congrats!