Every year it seems that one Christmas present will endear itself to me. It matters not what it costs or who it is from. One year it was a sculpting of my one-legged cardinal by my daughter. Most often it is something that touches my heart.
This year it was a little full-color book by Max Lucado titled "You Are Special."
It's about a little village of wooden people called Wemmicks, each one carved by Eli the woodworker, who lived on a hill in the village. All the Wemmicks were entirely different. Some had big noses and others had big eyes. Eli loved to make each one different and unique.
The Wemmicks walked around all day with two rolls of stickers. One roll was beautiful golden stars and the other roll was drab gray dots. They spent their days and nights sticking stickers on each other.
If you did good at some game, you got a star. If you just looked good, people would stick stars on you. If you didn't do well in the games, you got gray dots. Anything any Wemmick didn't like about you, got you a gray dot.
The main character in the books was Punchinello. Unfortunately, he didn't excel at the games and was not considered as handsome as most of the Wemmick men, so he got a lot of gray dots and few stars.
One day he met a pretty girl name Lucia and was shocked to discover that none of the stickers would stay on her. Punchinello was fascinated. He had become so embarrassed over all his gray dots that he would not go out in public places. He asked Lucia why stickers didn't stick on her and she said she didn't know but it started when she went to see Eli the woodcarver.
Punchinello decided to go see Eli and ask what he should do about receiving nothing but gray dots from all the Wemmicks.
He climbed the hill to Eli's workshop and quietly eased into the house. He was full of fear and ready to sneak back out when he heard Eli call to him.
"Punchinello, come let me see you!" Eli called.
Eli lifted him up and sat him on his workbench, looking him up and down with obvious pride in his workmanship. Punchinello gushed out his pain over getting so many gray stickers. Eli assured him he was special and beautiful and Punchinello believed him because he had never had anyone look at him that way.
Then he asked Eli why the stickers would not stick to Lucia and Eli said, "Because she is only interested in my opinion. She comes to see me often.
"You see, the stickers won't stick on anyone who doesn't care what people say about them. It's hard to believe but you can take my word for it."
Punchinello was amazed that Eli thought he was so special.
"I made you and I don't make mistakes." Eli said. "Come by and see me often and in time you will see how special you are."
Punchinello thought, "I believe he really means it."
And a gray dot fell from him.