Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Sparkle Box :: A Holiday Tradition in Giving

Are you looking for a new tradition this Christmas to begin with your family? Is your child old enough to begin to understand the meaning of Christmas and are you ready to reinforce this idea through actions? Are you seeking less commercialism during this special time of year?  Have you heard about The Sparkle Box?

Created and written by Jill Hardie, The Sparkle Box is not only a story, but also a family tradition. Eight years ago, the Hardie’s were looking for a better way to celebrate the season of Christ with their children. In doing so, they developed a Sparkle Box – a glittery box filled with gifts (actions completed by family members to honor the true meaning of the holiday) to Jesus and placed under the tree to be opened on his birthday, Christmas day. 

The Sparkle Box opens with a lovely dedication by Hardie – “Dear reader, you are the light of the world. Make it sparkle.” I absolutely adore this quote because it rings so true for me. As an avid community volunteer, I strongly urge my children to help when and where they can, as we are all capable of shining our light. 

The story begins with a young boy, named Sam, giddy about the coming holidays. He peeps through a through a toy store window admiring a train engine. Later in the evening, he notices a special sparkly box on the mantle and asks if it is for him. His mother replies that it is a special gift to be opened later.  Throughout the majority of the story, Sam and his family are engaged in helpful tasks – donating food and blankets to those in need in their community, helping fund a well in Africa for clean water and even giving mittens to the homeless. After each day, Sam inquires about the Sparkle Box and if it has been filled yet. His parents tell him they have added something new each time, but that it is not filled yet. 

On Christmas morning, Sam is allowed to open the Sparkle Box. He doesn’t find the newest gadget or the train engine inside, but finds little slips of paper instead. Each piece of paper records the good deeds the family has performed over the holiday season. Sam’s parents explain how each of these actions were actually a gift for Jesus. 

Beautifully written and illustrated, The Sparkle Box is not only a lovely children’s story about the true meaning of Christmas, but also a wonderful and encouraging tradition for families. I loved the idea of reviewing our actions of kindness on Christmas morning, further cementing the importance of Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply: ‘Truly, I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” 

Included with the book is a Sparkle Box for families to use or they are encouraged to create their own. For more information please visit the author’s website.


Jill Hardie is a writer and marketing professional with a great deal of enthusiasm for the Sparkle Box concept; her family enjoys this tradition yearly. Jill, her husband and their two children live in North Canton, Ohio. 

Illustrator Christine Kornacki was classically trained as a realistic oil painter. Inspired by painters such as Norman Rockwell and Maxfield Parrish, her illustrations are rich and full of emotion. 

{Disclaimer: I received this product for free from PR by the Book for review.}

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