The Gift of a Candle-Bearing Rabbit


Ever since he was three my godson Finn (11) and I have had the tradition of getting a Christmas tree and decorating it. His mother gives us free reign. On Friday, I met Finn after school and, as we’re walking towards my car, he suddenly ran off after a kid who was a block away. When Finn caught up with the kid he gave him a hug and then ran back to me. Matter-of-factly Finn told me that he gives one person a day a special hug.

We got the tree quickly as Finn spotted the perfect one in the first row we walked down. We drove back to his mom’s and the part I dreaded — lugging the tree inside. I assigned Finn to the front of the tree. While he huffed and grunted, he reassured me it wasn’t too heavy.

We then headed back out for lights and some new ornaments. First stop was Pier 1 where Finn was interested in everything but the ornaments. Finally, he came up to me lugging a brass rabbit holding a lantern with room for a tea light. I was annoyed as we were pressed for time and this wasn’t a Christmas decoration. “Too expensive,” I snapped, but he insisted his mom would like it.

My patience frayed, we went to a drug store where we loaded up on stuff. I’m thinking that maybe we can pull this off when he says, “I really want the rabbit.” I’d hoped he’d forgotten about it; but for some reason, he was taken with it. When I asked why he liked this rabbit, he said he didn’t know. “Fine, then I’m not going to waste my money.”

“OK, I’ll tell you,” he said all panicked. “I like the rabbit cause he looks like he’s bringing a gift. He’s bringing light and my mom likes candles. It’s like he’s giving her a candle gift for Christmas.”

I was floored. Still, though, it was expensive. To test just how much he wanted this, I explained that the rabbit would count towards his Christmas gift and that I’d deduct the price from what I was going to spend on his gift. Without hesitating, he said, “That’s OK.” And so we returned for his rabbit.

Since Thanksgiving I’ve been complaining that I’m not in a holiday mood. Until now — until Finn let me see the holidays through his eyes.

You give someone a hug each day. You help lift what needs to be lifted, no matter how heavy. And like a winter rabbit you gift people with light. I’m not going to say this is easy to do, but if Finn can do it, why can’t I? Why can’t you?

Please send your questions to JP Reynolds at

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