It is easy for our children to loose sight of the real meaning of Christmas. They are bombarded by images of new toys, opulent spreads of food and prettily wrapped gifts, so it’s easy for them to get caught in the trap of thinking about what they will be getting and little else. This was one of the reasons I was so pleased to be given a copy of The Sparkle Box to share with our children.


 About The Sparkle Box – A Gift with the Power to Change Christmas

Sam is so excited about Christmas! He’s thinking about his Christmas list, looking forward to holiday parties, and puzzling over one very mysterious gift: a sparkly box sitting on the mantel. 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 mom explains that the things that they’ve been doing are, in fact, a gift for Jesus, for Jesus said that whatever we do for those in need, we do for Him.

Gabriel & Evey were very excited to sit down and read the book with me. The inclusion of your very own sparkle box is an excellent bonus and made the book come to life for the little ones.



In the story, Sam wonders what could be in the mysterious sparkling box on the mantle, and as we read, the little ones made lots of guesses themselves. At each turn of the page, when Sam asked his parents what was in the box, our children positively squirmed with excitement, desperate to find out what Sams parents had put in.


As Sam & his family carry out their good deeds, we discussed similar things we had done or could do this year, and it was wonderful to see the children excited about giving gifts of kindness to others, instead of being excited about receiving gifts themselves.

The book is well written, just the right pace for pre-teen children and beautifully illustrated. I would love to talk more about the story but don’t want to give too much away!

 Author Bio


Author Jill Hardie and her family began placing a gift for Jesus under their Christmas tree as a way of bringing more meaning to the holiday.  The first time they opened His gift, the commercialism of the season melted away, and they felt a profound joy and peace.  Jill hopes that The Sparkle Box will spark a new Christmas tradition, bringing light into thousands of lives.
Illustrator Bio

20120207: Portrait of University of Hartford graduate Christine Kornacki, who recently completed paintings and doll design for the newest American Girl dolls Cécile Rey and Marie-Grace Gardner. She lives in New Haven, CT. (Photos: Shana Sureck)

At a very early age, Christine Kornacki developed a love for painting and bringing stories to life.  After receiving a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford, her dreams of illustrating children’s books began to take shape.  She spends her days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming cafe in New Haven, Connecticut.

What I can say is that the conclusion of the book is a beautiful, yet simple lesson for us all on the true meaning of Christmas. As a consequence, we have started a new family tradition with the sparkle box, the only difference from the book being that E & G take turns having the book and the box on their bed each night!


I would also urge you to visit The Sparkle Box on their website, where you can read more about the story, discover what other people are doing and download many excellent resources.