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  • Writer's pictureAnna Maria De Guid

A Precious Gift

Updated: Jan 20

On the occasion of the Epiphany, the last day of the Christmas season, I would like to share the most precious gift I received on Christmas Day.

Every seven years, our families (my sister's, brother's, and ours) host the annual Christmas Day clan reunion in the Philippines. So spending Christmas 2023 has long been on our schedule, the last being in 2016. We made sure we had our red clothes, the gifts, and games (among many other details) ready for the celebration!

About a week before leaving for Manila, I began praying for a most precious and memorable Christmas. I didn't think praying for a wonderful Christmas was good enough.

I specifically chose the words "precious and memorable." I added in safety for our flights.

On December 23, my voice became hoarse. I felt I was getting sick. On December 24, Gary and I were coughing so hard and nonstop that we knew we had to miss the Christmas reunion. After a quick breakfast with our sons on Christmas Day, we stayed inside our hotel room and got a Chicken Joy and spaghetti from the fast food outlet next door to get us through the day. (We didn't have much appetite for anything else). We spent the day talking about relatives we'd be missing, making plans, and praying. I spent quite some time reflecting on Jesus in front of the makeshift altar that I made on the bedside table.

Thank goodness the party was live-streamed, and we were able to see everyone and watch the festivities.

At the end of Zoom, I was surprised to have felt content, peaceful, and so filled with joy. Everything felt just right. There was not a trace of regret, disappointment, much less anger that we missed this seven-year long awaited event.

Then it slowly but very clearly dawned on me that I had experienced the beauty and joy of the first Christmas when God gave his only begotten Son on a manger. There were no huge celebrations, frills, and grandiosity. It was as simple as it can be. My heart filled with overwhelming gratitude, exultation, and other similar deep and heartfelt emotions.

I knew I had been given my wish of a most precious and memorable Christmas.

On top of this, both our coughs went away... miraculously at the end of Christmas Day.


My name's Anna Maria, and I publish a new video on YouTube's Touched by Grace Today and a new post on my blog every week! Check out for my other articles! If you've been #tbgtoday, feel free to share your story of grace here.

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