The Worst Christmas Present Ever Given

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Have you ever received a gift that turned out to be nothing like it looked on the outside?

This question is the one that Pastor asked today and immediately my husband and I looked at each other, knowing exactly what the other was thinking. Perhaps I should begin at the beginning.

worst present ever2

Wrapping presents can seem to be an overwhelming chore at the Woj house. The number of bodies present in our household lends itself naturally to using A LOT of wrapping paper. Creativity often comes in to play with the older kids because I don’t want them to figure out what the gift is before unwrapping it, right? I know you’ve been there- it’s supposed to be a surprise!

So last year, we sat by the Christmas tree, taking turns to open gifts, and my oldest son’s turn came around. Michael is 11 years old and this smallish bag with his name on it is ready to be opened. I shook the bag, not remembering AT ALL what could be in it for him. You know it’s bad when the mom can’t remember what she wrapped. In my defense, something didn’t seem right, but I was trusting the gift tag on the bag, clearly marked with his name.

Unfortunately, Michael’s face showed that the bag did NOT belong to him as he peered down into it before revealing its contents. Mom and Dad had given him:

a bra! I was never so embarrassed for one of my children in their lives. I couldn’t believe I had done this! How does a mother wrap a new bra for the older sister and give it to her son instead?? To this day, the only thing I can calculate is that the label was on the floor somewhere, with his name.  In the process of moving gifts from the upstairs bedroom where they were carefully wrapped and labeled to under the Christmas tree, this label was mistakenly placed on the bag, conveniently over the true owner’s gift tag.

I felt horrible for Michael and I think he just might have received the worst Christmas present ever given- at least for an 11 year old boy. And I felt like a total idiot. How could I have done this to him? I was pretty sure the poor boy had been scarred for life.

But Michael laughs about this crazy little incident. Ummm. Now he laughs. (It wasn’t so well-received at the time.) And in return for receiving the worst Christmas present ever given, Michael gave me one of the best presents ever- grace.

grace is for giving
Last week, I wrote a list of the books I’ve read this year. Only I left one out- and it’s one of my favorites. I couldn’t close out the year without telling you about it- because this book- it’s about what Michael gave to me-it’s about grace.

What kind of grace? Not the prayer we say before dinner. Not even the kind of grace Michael gave to me. This book is about

Epic Grace.

epic giveaway

In fact, that’s the name of the book. And if that alone doesn’t intrigue you, the subtitle certainly is catchy…

Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot.

My older brother used to say “It takes one to know one.” Ahem.

So I can thoroughly relate to this book. And truthfully, I believe all humankind can relate to this book. How many times in life do we simply need…

a do-over?

a second chance?

one more shot?

Kurt Bubna‘s Epic Grace is full of encouraging direction for those of us who need a second chance. I laughed and cried my way through the book and enjoyed every moment of reading it. From someone who needs God’s grace every moment of every day, I highly recommend this book.

Kurt is so gracious that he’s giving me the privilege of giving away a copy of his awesome book! WOOHOO! Just follow the Rafflecopter for a chance to win. We’ll keep the giveaway open through Christmas Day!

Through 12/28, you can purchase the ebook, Epic Grace, for only $2.99 right here.

See you tomorrow!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Book provided by publisher. Site may be compensated if purchase is made. See full disclosure policy here.



  1. I love that story! I have to wonder how your daughter (the one the bra was intended for) reacted as well. Was she a bit mortified that her brother was the recipient of her undergarment? 🙂
    Anyway, I came upon this post too late to enter for the book, but I might have to find it on my own!

  2. That is a heartwarming story – and you can let your son know that his giving you grace is lovely. And mature. And very kind. Worst presents ever, oh I could share a couple of them with you, and yes grace came into play there as well. Even though I still cringe when I think of them. Merry Christmas!

  3. Bryan Knepper says:

    I so wish you had recorded this moment…

    Poor Michael.

    1. Actually I think Matt was recording and we’re afraid to go back and see! lol He just asked me last night if we recorded it. Poor Michael indeed.

  4. Oh no Rachel, if I was there I would feel bad for both you and your son. I can’t imagine the look on both of your faces.

    I like the quote Grace is forgiving, and Grace is for giving. That will give me something that is simple to chew on today as I prepare for food and travel for both sides of the family for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. This also will be important to tuck away and act on during the Holidays with some difficult relationships and situations in the family.

    This will help me remember grace and relationship is important getting ready especially with the two and three year old needing attention while mommy is working.

    Merry Christmas Rachel to you and your family!


    Joanne Peterson

  5. Kim Shumake says:

    Would really enjoy this book.

  6. Would lovetoi read

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