When my brother and I were kids my Dad used to buy us his own special Christmas gift every year just from him to us.

He would buy it early and give us hints throughout the month of December. They were clever hints that we would never guess.

The year I was 16 I was hoping for a car for Christmas. I still recall the hints my Dad gave me about his special gift. It was brown, almost everyone has one, I’ll have it for life and I may not appreciate it now, but hopefully one day I would.

That sounds just like a car, doesn’t it? Well, I convinced myself it COULD be a car.

I opened the box, thinking it was a key inside, although nothing rattled. The box was square and fairly heavy, but my Dad also liked to wrap things so you’ll never guess what it is. One year he put a rock into a giant box and a diamond ring for my Mom.  She didn’t guess…

I shook the package and nothing made a sound. It was just heavy and solid.

I excitedly ripped off the paper just knowing it was a key to a car!

It was a Bible.

To this day, 28 years later, I can remember saying “oh, it’s a Bible” while telling myself to keep an appreciative smile on my face.

I wasn’t sure what to say about this gift so I laid it aside and said “Thanks, Dad” having no clue why he chose this as his special gift to me.

My Dad said, “I know you may not have been expecting a Bible (Really, Dad?) and you may not use it for a long time but this has brought great comfort in my life when times were difficult.”   He said, “You’re 16 and this is the time when things in life start to get difficult. He encouraged me to just flip through it from time to time, read some passages and explore what they mean.

I still have that Bible and I have used it throughout my life time.

At 16, the Bible as my Dad’s special gift to me may have been a disappointment. At 44 it is a memory that I cherish.

There were many more “Dad” gifts after the Bible, but that is the one that sticks out in my memory the most.

Although Dad needs help now picking out gifts for people that is the one tradition from my childhood that I always eager awaited. How many Dads take the time to choose something that even my Mom didn’t know what it was until Christmas morning?

What is your favorite holiday tradition that you had as a child or that you do now as an adult?

Karen Regan is a Life Coach. She can be contacted at for any comments.



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