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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

Favorite Gift of All
Date Posted: January 6, 2007

I don't know about you but if I reflect on my favorite Christmas gift ever it's not what I expected. I sifted back through memories and brushed aside cobwebs searching for the most expensive or spectacular gift I'd ever received. I tried to remember a year when I had wanted something so much I would just die if I didn't get it. I came up empty. But tucked away quietly in one of those memory pockets was a doll house I received in fourth or fifth grade.

It seems strange now to think I was that old. Today girls barely play with Barbies past Kindergarten. (Not that that's a good thing - it's just another column.) This doll house was not something I had asked for or even realized I wanted. I had a smaller metal doll house with all plastic furniture very much like one my mother had when she was young. My grandparents got me the first one when I was about seven. This new and improved version was much bigger. The box my grandparents brought with them when they arrived on Christmas morning was so big I couldn't imagine what was in it.

It was a two-story wooden doll house about two feet tall and three feet long. My grandfather had made it and my grandmother decorated it, laying real carpet, papering the walls and even putting tiny plastic flowers in the flower boxes on the front windows. Then there was the furniture. No longer plastic stuff, but real miniature furniture. I didn't get much of it for Christmas because my grandmother wanted to take me shopping and let me pick it out myself. I chose Victorian sofas for the parlor and a formal dining table for the formal dining room, all presided over by a grandfather clock. The kitchen was cozier with wooden cabinets and a small family table. The nursery had an adorable swinging cradle, a crib and a child's bed, all out of wood with checkered blankets and cute little accessories. The bathroom had real porcelain fixtures - a claw-foot tub, pedestal sink and toilet with the suspended flush tank. The master bedroom I furnished with a four-poster bed and matching accessories.

My friends and I played for hours with that house, mostly setting it up and rearranging it. Sometimes the beloved furniture was relegated to the closet while the Barbies moved in. (The rooms were large with high ceilings, so the Barbies could live there as long as they didn't try to get through the doorways.)

This certainly was not the most requested gift I ever received. It was not the most expensive. But it was the most special and that's what I remember.

When I think about God's gifts to me I also remember the most special - His son. For him it was the most expensive and I have since requested the benefits of that gift. I hope my children will have memories of special Christmas gifts through the years, but I hope that the Christ will remain most important to them and to you. Have a merry and blessed Christmas!

"For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given . . ." - Isaiah 9:6

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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