I asked my wife the question, and there was nothing close to the numero uno; however, there were several prizes that were tied for second place. Certainly there were prizes and surprises for childhood.
And then there was the cameo ring that I bought her the year she gave me THE sweater. There was no doubt what was in that little box, it had to be a ring. But it scared her to death, because she thought it would be a diamond … and she knew her daddy would kill me. No! Since it was a cameo, I lived to talk about it.
There were other rings after we got married – which happened a year and a half after the fright. One was the aquamarine ring which I hid in a large box under a piece of firewood. Surely surprised her with this one. And there was the silver cameo that came from Victor Hardy’s jewelry store.
But nothing compares to her most precious gift. Our daughter, Stacia, was born on December 23, and on Christmas Day the nurse brought her to Sammie in a big red stocking. She had felt sorry for herself, being in the maternity ward, alone, at Christmas, but her sadness turned into joy. Holding her newborn baby and singing Christmas carols to her, she remembered another baby, born in a dirty barn, and she celebrated Christmas like never before. The gift of life was in his hands.
Which brings us full circle to the best gift ever given or ever received – Jesus, the baby in a manger.