Disclaimer: I received a copy of The Sparkle Box for review. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are my own.
I read lots and lots of books, and many of them stay with me long after I’ve read them. Some of them make me smile or laugh, others make me cry, and many of them make me think or change something inside of me. The Sparkle Box by Jill Hardie is one of the books that changed me.
I received a copy of The Sparkle Box months ago, and put it away with all of our Christmas stuff, forgetting about it. After Thanksgiving, I pulled everything out, and found the book. The girls loved the cover of the book and the pretty box on it and wanted to read it right away.
Here’s a brief synopsis:
Sam is so excited about Christmas! He’s thinking about his Christmas list, anticipating holiday parties, and puzzling over one very mysterious gift — a sparkly box sitting on the mantel above the fireplace. In the midst of the festivities, Sam and his family participate in various acts of kindness to others. On Christmas morning, when Sam finally opens the Sparkle Box, he finds only slips of paper that record the family’s good deeds. Sam’s parents explain that the things that they’ve been doing for others are, in fact, a gift for Jesus — for Jesus said that whatever we do for the least of these, we do for Him.
As I read the book, I began to understand what was being put in the beautiful box – all the giving and good deeds that Sam and his family did throughout the holiday season. I started to cry. It’s such a simple, beautiful way to acknowledge and help the kids understand what a gift giving is. No matter your religion or faith, it’s still the most amazing gift that you can give.
So whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah or another faith based day, this story can still be shared with your family because the message is so strong and pure. Teaching our children to give is an important thing to do, and this book has made my kids not only want to give, but they think about how they can give so they can put a note in the box.
Our box has lots of notes in it; from Mia’s 16 cents to our donations to the A21 Campaign, Lila’s helping spread holiday cheer to people she meets on the street (As she told me, “Giving people happiness is a gift to Jesus, Mom”), and Ethan donating the toys he doesn’t play with to “kids who don’t have anything to play with”, and more. I’m so proud of what The Sparkle Box has taught and given to our family.
But don’t keep The Sparkle Box to yourself – I shared it with my sister and a couple of friends. They also cried as they read the story and their children understood the message too. It’s a book we will all be reading every Christmas.
Our Sparkle Box sits prominently in our entertainment center where it can be seen all day. And while I love the idea of giving during the holiday season, we give all year and have decided that we are going to leave our box out year round, to remind us of the importance of giving all the time. After the holidays, we will be finding a beautiful box that we can leave out year round, and I can’t wait to read all of the giving that we did throughout the year on Christmas morning next year and every year after!
Now go buy a copy of The Sparkle Box for your family. Give it as a gift to your friends! The Sparkle Box even comes with a sparkle box like the one above for your family to enjoy. I have and will continue to recommend The Sparkle Box and the message it delivers, and I hope that you’ll read it and enjoy it as much as my family did.