In 1981, we had only been married a year. Money was really tight. We were living on love (and chicken pot pies). One day, just before Christmas, my new beloved brought in a big present that was just for me. He put it under the tree right away with instructions not to touch it.

I was so excited. I acted like touching it was the furthest thing from my mind.

The next day, the gift caught my eye. I tiptoed over to it and touched it just a little. In my entire life I had never, ever sneaked and opened a present early. But just this once …

I held it in my lap for a moment. It was so soft and puffy. I un-taped the edge to take a little peek and saw fur. I nearly squealed with delight. I knew exactly what it was. I was about to burst with love and excitement! My beloved would never know that I knew!

It was the era when rabbit fur coats were really popular. Oh, I loved those coats and was sure that I’d never have one until NOW … THIS year! I was really getting a rabbit coat! It was a dream come true! How on earth had he been able to afford it?! Oh, my new husband was a treasure!

I wrapped up the package and went about my business trying NOT to picture myself in the awesome rabbit fur coat.

I giggled from time to time when my new hubby was around. He was the VERY BEST!

And then Christmas morning came. I couldn’t wait! I can’t remember what I got him; all I remember was being excited about MY COAT! We opened other gifts from family and then … finally … after years of waiting to be cool in a rabbit fur coat, it was time to open my perfect present!

My new beloved said, “I bet you don’t know what your present is...”

I smiled as if I didn’t have a clue … and, believe me, I didn’t.

I pulled off the edge of the tape, acting like I was saving all the paper. I opened the other end very carefully. And suddenly, there it was … a BIG TEDDY BEAR!

A TEDDY BEAR! Imagine my surprise!

It really was the perfect gift — for me, anyway. Sometimes we want things that really don’t make sense. I never ever got a rabbit coat but kept that teddy bear for a very long time. (I’ve never peeked at a Christmas present since!)

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, He didn’t come at all as expected. Wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger, was the gift of all gifts … the promised Messiah. “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift,” 2 Corinthians 9:15.

Dawn Reed writes a weekly column for HD Media. She can be contacted at