Stella wanted to give the perfect gift to the special man in her life. It couldn't be just any gift. It had to be exceptional. Wonderful. Like nothing else he had ever received from anyone.
She grabbed her crayon and drew the prettiest picture she could imagine. Half way through she held it up to grade her progress. Yuck. Not good enough.
Her big brown eyes wandered upward to the corner of the ceiling for a moment. hummm... lightbulb! She'll dance! That will be special. It will certainly be unique. She was sure no else had thought to offer such a creative gift!
She began working on her choreography. Twirl, lift, bow. Twirl, lift, bow. Twirl, lift... boom! Her legs pretzeled under her. This will not do either. What is there left to offer??
"Stella!" she could hear her mother's voice from down the steps. "It's time to exchange our gifts!"
Her time had run out, and her hands were empty as she headed to the living room. There was nothing to offer.
With tears in her eyes she approached her father.
"Daddy, I tried so hard to make you a nice gift. But see," she said as she looked at her hands, "I have nothing to give you." Her head sank into her chest.
Her father leaned in close. "Give me your hands, Stella."
He pulled them in toward his chest and with a whisper said, "Stella, you can't give me anything more special than these empty hands."