Before the days of children. Back when we were trying but to no avail. I worked at a local music store where I taught voice and piano. A small town place with rough hard wood floors, records hung on the wall, a constant smell of coffee, and a hub for instructors, customers, and students alike.

Everyone knew everybody and it was a much more of a home than a job for me in that season of my life. Christmas was such a festive time around that place. The store owner, who I loved dearly, put up little Christmas trees in every room and doilies over the instrument cabinets. She set out seasonal records like Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole and little plates of snacks for us all to enjoy.

My students usually brought in homemade cards, little songs they had written on staff paper or other cute little ‘teacher gifts’. Each one made me feel so loved and cherished. I have many of those gifts still today.

One year I taught this little boy piano who was from my church. He was their miracle baby after many years of trying, as well as the little genius type that was playing a decent version of Carol of the Bells after only his first year with me. His mom was one of those fun-loving super-sweet ladies who would stick around after lesson to ask me how I was doing. She knew of my struggles with infertility and always encouraged me to keep hope. She also had some funny stories about her week and life on their farm.


This particular year, she caught me after the lesson on a cold December day and she handed me a beautifully wrapped box with a perfect gold bow on top. It was so eye-catching I almost didn’t want to open it. I started to balk saying that her son had already given me a gift when she put her hand on mine and said, โ€œthis one is from meโ€. Just when my curiosity couldn’t have been piqued more she proceeded to tell me to open it when I was by myself.

Sure we were good friends but what could she give me that I had to open in private? I’m pretty sure I didn’t mention anything about those cute little unmentionables I saw on sale at Target…

After finishing up my students lessons for the day, I closed the squeaky door of my studio room, sat down on my black shiny piano bench and slowly started to remove img_0991_edited-1the beautiful gold bow. Inside the wrapping was a small box. Inside the small box was a little praying Beanie Bear and a Christmas card. A little baffled, I opened the handwritten card and soon realized the significance.

Dear Jessica, it isn’t much but it meant a lot to me. I wanted you to have it. I acquired it before I had my son. We know what you are going through and are praying for you. You and your husband are very special to us. We know that with God, all things are possible! Keep the faith and your focus on him. We love you guys.

Like salve on a wound or a warm blanket over cold shoulders, her presentation, her words, and her intention soothed my deepest ache and filled me with hope. Kindness and love. Prayers and encouragement. In that season of my life, and unbeknownst to her she had given me best Christmas gift I could have ever received.

What was your best Christmas gift?


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  1. Reply

    Betty Buerkle

    December 8, 2016

    Jessica, That is the best Christmas story ever. Only the people that have gone through infertility understand that story. I know we cried buckets of tears when our daughter was going through the same thing. You have to put it in Gods hands and pray about it. Our prayers were answered. Our little miracle will be 16 next week!

    • Reply


      December 8, 2016

      Thank you Betty. It was quite the journey. I saw a picture of your miracle and he has grown into a hansome young man!! ๐Ÿ’•

  2. Reply


    December 8, 2016

    Love that sweet story. It’s the little things that are big things to the heart!

    • Reply


      December 8, 2016

      Exactly! And the most memorable:)

  3. Reply


    December 9, 2016

    So precious. Thanks for sharing, Jessica. Such a good reminder to be thoughtful, to notice, and to encourage generously. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Reply


    December 20, 2016

    The best Christmas gift I ever received was my sweet baby boy, born in Christmas Eve eight years ago. My soul was in torment and I’d given up on ever finding the peace of Christmas (it happens when your BIL is a Muslim fundamentalist who spends Christmas talking about what a fine, upstanding fella Osama bib Laden is, while gradually getting everyone in the family to give up every single Christmas tradition, so as to not offend him.) And then this perfect baby boy entered my life at exactly the right time, not only to soothe my soul and remind me of the beauty of Christmas, but also to give me a “get out of Christmas with the inlaws” card for life. (“I’m so sorry we can’t make it but it just wouldn’t be fair to Jr to travel on his birthday. We’ll just do our own thing for Christmas.”) He is my Christmas miracle.

  5. Reply


    December 24, 2016

    How precious….this post has me tears are always ready to go.

    • Reply


      December 24, 2016

      Aw๐Ÿ’• You and me both!

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