We wrote this short story many years ago and thought it would be fun to share as our gift to you this Christmas. It is a simple reminder of how even though each of us may have different gifts or talents, all of them are meant for the same purpose – to be shared freely for the Gift Giver. Sometimes, we get caught up in measuring and judging each other. We may find ourselves valuing one gift over another, but all gifts are equal if they are shared with an open heart. I hope you are blessed with our simple story this Christmas and that you find joy in the greatest gift of Christmas…Jesus.
The Miller Brothers
THE PARABLE OF THE GIFT FACTORY
In a far away world, not quite like our own,
at the base of a hill is a city that’s known
as the City of Shadow, a rather sad town,
where the colorless people of Shadow are found.
Now, the people of Shadow are really quite busy,
they hustle and bustle themselves in a tizzy.
Too busy to stop, to wonder or ponder,
Far too busy to notice the city up yonder.
For at the top of the hill another town stands,
a City of Light that brings hope to the land,
It’s colorful people share bright colored dreams
and they work hard together in colorful teams.
In the midst of this town is a factory so rare
where gifts are created from out of thin air.
Push a red button here, and a gift comes out there.
It’s a bright colored gift and it’s meant to be shared.
The Gift Giver’s the one who made this machine,
He’s entrusted his work to his gift giving team,
They work hard every day to brighten the faces
of people who live in the Shadowy places.
Then it happened one morning, a minute past eight,
The factory foreman showed up to work late,
The building was silent, not a sound could be heard.
No one was working! This was really absurd!
Rushing over to where the red button was found,
the foreman discovered a crowd gathered around.
At the front of the mob there was something quite new
Beside the red button was a button of blue.
“What’s that,” asked the foreman, “and why is it here?”
“We’ve only been one-button pushers for years.”
Nobody answered, because nobody knew.
This new button looked different, what should they do?
The foreman decided to give it a try.
The button was pressed and they watched in surprise
as a gift that was BLUE slid down on the chute.
But this posed a problem – not one color, but two.
“The push-button rule needs changing,” he said.
“We’ll push twenty for blue, and eighty for red.”
This ratio seemed fair to the gift giving team,
so they got back to work pushing buttons and things.
The factory was buzzing with new work to do
Two gifts were being given, first red and now blue.
Everyone was happy with things for awhile
Until numbers were crunched and reports were compiled.
“Our red gifts are fewer than ever before,”
Said a man crunching numbers. “See here, I’ve kept score!”
“It’s true,” said the foreman. ‘This blue gift is fun,
but if we can’t keep up red, something has to be done.”
A small one spoke up with a voice that was meek,
“We have more than one gift we can give, can’t you see…
It’s true that we started with gifts bright and red,
but the blue gift is here for a reason instead.”
The board met and decided, though some with a doubt,
they needed two foremen to sort this job out.
One for the red, and one for the blue,
the factory would no longer be one team…but two.
Then one day something happened that raised quite a scene,
beside the blue button was a button of green.
Three buttons to push – now this was a surprise,
and it meant more work for the push-button guys.
The green button was tested, a green gift came down.
It looked a bit different, it was smaller and round.
“Now what should we do?” the red foreman fussed
“If they start making green ones that’s less red for us!”
“And what about blue?” the blue foreman did shout,
“If green’s in production my blue gift is out!”
The two of them met with the board to decide.
How many green gifts would the factory try?
They debated the issue until it seemed clear
There wasn’t much room for the green gift this year
“Let’s make one green gift, at the end of each day.
And we’ll assign a green foreman to give it away.”
So one green gift was made, a small gift at that,
The green foreman carried the gift in his hat
He walked to the City of Shadow each night
to give the green gift that was shiny and bright.
With the following week came a production report
The blue foreman grumbled his numbers were short.
An emergency meeting was called with his team
to address with the board, his concern over green.
“Reconsider our options. Stop making the green!
It hasn’t produced many gifts that I’ve seen
And the cost of production for one gift is high
let’s refocus our efforts and set green aside.”
The small one was puzzled, “Sir, what do you mean?
There are people in Shadow who are glad to have green.
Let’s ask the Gift Giver to help us decide?
If our quota is short, perhaps he can provide.
The Red foreman chuckled at the small one’s request
“I’m the team leader and I know what is best.
We don’t need the Gift Giver to decide what to do
What we need is some action. Cut out green and keep blue!”
They discussed how the gift giving business was tough
and how giving two colors was more than enough.
So they announced a new plan, and with that being said
no green gifts were made; only blue or the red.
Well, the very next day the Gift Giver arrived,
He had come back to hear how the factory had thrived.
“How’s my gift giving team, are you still having fun?
Did you give all the gifts? Tell me, what have you done?”
They presented the numbers, the facts and the figures
for the colorful gifts that had come from the Giver.
They told him of how they had split into teams
About the number of blues and the closing of green.
“But you’re all the same team, there’s no need for two.”
The Gift Giver said, “There’s no red, green or blue.”
“The color doesn’t matter, why just look inside
the gifts are the same there’s no need to fight.”
“Any gift that is opened is priceless to me,
Be it one, five, or ten, or a hundred and three.
And the size or the color doesn’t matter at all,
For my gifts are all good, no matter how small.”
“And what’s this I hear about the closing of green,
I know times are tough but did you think to ask me?
There’s a reason I created the green button for you,
There are people in Shadow who can’t see red or blue.”
The red foreman spoke up, “But the numbers don’t jive,
If you gave us more gifts, green would still be alive.
As it is now the number of reds and the blues
Are less than a hundred – this isn’t good news.”
The Gift Giver smiled, he knew just what to say,
“Why don’t you push on more buttons each day?”
Who told you one-hundred a day was the top,
As long as there’s need, the gift factory won’t stop.”
One-hundred and one? Would it work, was it true?
The red foreman pushed on the button of blue,
At first nothing happened, not even a sound,
Then the bright shiny hundred-and-first gift slid down.
The gift giving team learned a lesson that day
Wherever there’s need, there’s always a way
If they worked hard together as one team not two
Imagine the gift giving things they could do…