December 22, 2006, - 2:10 pm

To Those Last-Minute Christmas Shoppers . . .

By Debbie Schlussel
Read the touching op-ed piece on giving loved ones “what they need,” in today’s USA Today by my friend, Capt. James Key, chaplain in the U.S. Army at Fort Irwin, California.
Here are some excerpts:

In 1975, my paternal grandma, Helen McClain, mailed my Christmas gift as she always did. I was expecting a new Hot Wheels track that year, but when I opened the small box on Christmas morning, I quickly realized that she hadn’t granted my wish. Instead, I found a children’s version of the Holy Bible. . . .


Capt. James Key, U.S. Army Chaplain

For years, this gift didn’t make much sense to me. More than 30 years later, however, I understand Grandma’s rationale. Instead of giving me what I wanted, she gave me what I needed. During some of my most difficult days in Iraq, I found comfort in the word of God. Grandma died of cancer in 1987, but her timeless gift and words remain in my heart and mind today.
As a society, we often spend too much time trying to give our loved ones what they want. This holiday season, video game systems such as PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii have created long lines and short tempers at stores. Many adults will spend hundreds of dollars on these systems. Others have gone a step further, bidding thousands of dollars on eBay to ensure that their child won’t be disappointed on Christmas Day.
My 9-year-old son has told me he wants a PlayStation 3, too. He may or may not get one, but I know what he will get: a children’s version of the Bible. I hope when he grows older and experiences some of the vicissitudes of life, he too will find strength and comfort in this eternal book, as I have. . . .
So what unforgettable gifts will you give people this year? Before you scour the shopping malls and spend hours searching online for that perfect gift, ask yourself: Will it be what they want or what they need? Whatever it is – whether sacred, simple or even frivolous – I hope that the gifts you give loved ones will remain unforgettable in their hearts and minds.

Read Capt. Key’s other inspiring piece from this past Memorial Day.

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2 Responses

Spirituality is almost dead in America as it is long dead in Europe.
Give me a percentage of people who read…any book, not just the Bible.
The vast majority of Americans do not read, their primary hobby is…TV!!
Americans are consumers of goods: they expect to have and to fulfill their material needs.
Reading a good book, reading the Bible for that matter, became obsolete, even ridiculous, to many people.
I have to agree with Madonna’s old song “Material Girl.” That’s a fact. Materialism is leading to Atheism.
And the Muslims are exploiting the lack of spirituality in the West to promote their cult by filling up the gap. Of course, you got a lot of idiots who are falling into the Islamic trap.
Merry Christmas!

Independent Conservative on December 22, 2006 at 3:17 pm

I admire this man and his spirituality. Merry Christmas and many thanks for sharing.

justamomof4 on December 22, 2006 at 8:25 pm

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