By Leslie Lindsay
When a glittery little book arrived on my doorstep recently, a feeling of awe and wonderment filled my heart. “The Sparkle Box,” by Jill Hardie is absolutely a timeless treasure.
Designed for children (and their adults) this holiday season, “The Sparkle Box” is sure to incite warm feelings of nostalgia for the true meaning of Christmas. With the vast commercialization of the season, the desire for more and better, families–and children–may forget the real reason for the holidays: family, love, Jesus.
Open the book, and you’ll immediately be transported to Sam’s world through richly painted artwork by illustrator Christine Kornacki. Like most children, Sam can’t wait for Christmas. He’s excited about the food, the parties, the gifts…yet there is one very curious gift: a sparkly box sitting atop the mantle.
Sam’s parents tell him that it’s an important gift that can only be opened together; but they need to fill it first. Throughout the holiday season, Sam and his family give back to their community. He begins to see just how fortuante his family really is. When the family opens the sparkle box on Christmas morning, the true reason for the day is revealed. (hint: it’s the little things they did for others all December).
Author Jill Hardie did this with her own family, thus the inception of THE SPARKLE BOX. She further explains, “Each year, we have continued this tradition, it has made us more aware of the difference we can make in peoples’ lives throughout the Christmas season.”
If you’re interested in doing something like THE SPARKLE BOX:
- Get the book and read it with your family. (We’re planning on making it part of our advent calendar. Decemeber 1st, “Look for the book under the tree, read it with your family.” THE SPARKLE BOX is available from Amazon, Ideals Publishing (a Guideposts company), & where books are sold. It’s new, but you may be able to request it from your local library.
- Become aware of the needs in your community. Check with local churches, food pantries, schools, women’s shelters. You may even ask non-profits what’s on their wishlist. If your child(ren) is in speech, PT, OT, etc. ask the owner if they need any new therapy tools/toys/books. Even the library may benefit from gently used books, coats, etc. Purchase or donate.
- Inquire about their needs.
- Give with a warm heart and a sparkle in your eye.
Jill Hardie is a writer, mother, and marketing professional. She and her family started this traditiona about six years ago. They live in Canton, Ohio.
[image source: http://mtlmagazine.com/article/the-best-kind-of-gift/ 11.26.13]
Illustrator Christine Kornacki spends her days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming cafe in New Haven, Conneticut.
For more information about THE SPARKLE BOX, please see: www.thesparklebox.idealsbooks.com
[book image retrieved from Amazon.com 11.26.13]