Appreciating the gift

Published 8:49 pm Saturday, December 22, 2012

By Dennis Edwards

My son is 23 now. But there was a time, not so long ago, when he was a bright-eyed 7-year-old boy caught up in the Power Rangers frenzy. He sat too close to the TV singing the “Go, Go Power Rangers” song with such enthusiasm I had to admire his commitment to a chosen heroic ideal.

Isn’t it amazing how a secular program can give life to biblical ideals of heroism in the face of injustice. So when he announced his Christmas wish for a Power Rangers White Tiger Zord I thought, “That’s a done deal.”

Email newsletter signup

Well, time slipped away faster than expected, and Christmas Eve suddenly showed up. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie “Jingle All The Way” I had to find the most popular toy on the East Coast, when every store was sold out.

There’s nothing like getting word a toy is shipping in only to find out the last one sold moments before you arrived. That must have happened to me eight times the day I started. But in the last store, at the last hour I asked a clerk to please check the back room for one more. She said she couldn’t. But she did remember seeing one on top of some boxes inside the stockroom door.

I all but ran through those doors. There it was, the rare and elusive White Tiger Zord, sitting nicely on a stack of boxes.

I can’t tell you how quickly I snatched it, ran through the stock room, manipulated the crowd to the first register, paid for it and leaped into the car, headed for home. I’m sure there is still some disappointed soul wandering the stock room thinking “I just put it down here a moment ago.”

Come Christmas morning, the look on my boy’s face made the extra effort, worry and excitement worth it. I felt almost as good as he did.

Justin still has the Zord to this day. I hope he never gets rid of it. Maybe, when life gets him down and he thinks nobody cares, he’ll look at it and remember how special he is, how far Dad was willing to go to make him happy. Maybe he’ll feel better about himself. Better still, maybe he’ll do the same thing for his son for the same reasons.

I don’t know. All I do know is that when I see the crowds, the mothers who won’t be denied, fathers determined to get everything on their baby’s lists and grandparents standing in line, I briefly wonder whether all of us have lost our collective minds. But then I think how blessed is that little boy or girl whose wish inspires such love and sacrifice.

Aren’t we fortunate somebody loves us enough to get out of a warm bed, go out on Black Friday or Cyber Monday and stand in line to pay for the privilege of making our wishes, dreams and needs come true? It makes me think maybe all is not lost after all.

Didn’t God throw caution to the wind 2,000 years ago to give us the greatest gift the world has ever known? All He asks is that we appreciate the gift, its cost and its meaning.

Shouldn’t we do the same thing for those who give to us? Appreciate The Gift, the thought and effort that went into getting it. All folks want to know is that you like it. Is it what you wanted and needed?

Of course the answer for them should be the same answer we give the Father who gave his Son. Yes we love him. He’s all we’ve ever needed. Thank you, glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will to all.

Dennis Edwards is an Emmy Award-winning television news reporter and anchor. He is a 1974 graduate of Suffolk High School. Email him at