The Unopened Present

In the weeks running up to Christmas I am posting free resources for people to read and use as they see fit and this week’s offering is a poem which explores how God’s gift of grace is too often overlooked like an unopened present beneath the Christmas tree. Permission is granted for you to print off and perform the poem but please acknowledge Sam Lenton as the writer.

The Unopened Present

At Christmas time, the family gather,

Eating and drinking and sharing as one;

Beneath the tree sit gifts of all sizes,

Tokens of love and the promise of fun.

Carolling voices echo through the streets,

Renewed hope warming the hearts of the free,

But all of the while there sits unnoticed

The unopened present beneath the tree.


Pressed to the window, the child’s face looks in

At a world of wealth that’s not meant for him –

Gifts of great value, one after the next,

A barely voiced ‘thank you’, gratitude slim.

He turns to his father and whispers ‘why?’

‘Why are they different, yet why can I see

There in the corner, untouched and ignored,

An unopened present beneath their tree?’


‘That box looks familiar,’ his father said,

‘I’ve seen it in many houses like these.

Sometimes it’s picked up, examined, explored,

But few come to find it’s opened with ease.

The words you can see are quite clear to read

If only you’ll take the time, let them be

A life-giving message waiting inside

The unopened present beneath the tree.’


‘But how do you know this?’ the boy replied.

‘Have you ever seen a present like those?’

‘Yes,’ he responded, ‘And you will do too;

The seasons may change but this never goes.

Christmas will come and Christmas will leave us

But waiting behind for you and for me

The box that reads ‘Life: a free gift for all’ –

The unopened present beneath the tree.

© Sam Lenton, 2012




About samlenton

I am a writer based in Southampton, England. I write and direct Christian plays and have self-published a novel, which is available on Amazon. To find out more about me and my writing, please visit
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