What has your all-time favorite gift from Santa been?

guitarSanta has brought some pretty wonderful gifts over the years. There was a bike one year. And various toys and dolls that at the time seemed perfectly wonderful.

But my all-time favorite gift has been my guitar. Now before you start thinking anything, I have to confess that I don’t really play the guitar. I did. Well, I took lessons. But that was a long time ago and I didn’t like to practice, so that made it kind of hard to be any good.

Anyway, when my brother and I were in our teens, magically, Santa still came. There weren’t any letters, but there would still be things left on Christmas morning, neatly laid out on the couch, mine on one half and his on the other. And one year, there was this guitar.

It was the most beautiful guitar I had ever seen, with rich colored wood and a case that was blue inside. And the smell. Wood and varnish and I don’t know what else, but it smelled so good.

My father played, so it was fun because he taught me before I took lessons, and we sometimes played together. I took the guitar to college, and took classes. After school, I still kept it with me, but rarely played it. Even though I didn’t play, it was something I was very proud of, and it was a connection to him.

At some point, I got tired of moving it around, so it ended up in Mama’s attic. A few months ago, she asked me if I still wanted to keep it. My first thought was to give it away. After all, I don’t see myself taking up guitar lessons anytime soon.

But then I opened it. And that wonderful smell came rushing out. And memories of my father flowed with the scent.

So now the guitar sits in its case in my bedroom. Still unplayed, it is a subtle reminder of Daddy and Santa and the wonder of this Christmas season. It’s not about the things, but about the relationships, memories and the gift of Jesus to the world.

Merry Christmas and many blessings to you and your family.