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The Gift of the Moleskin Pants

Christmas Friendship Grace


Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2024-01-03

Scripture: Ephesians 2:8 ; 2 Corinthians 9:15

Author: Illustration Exchange


According to Snopes, the hillarious urban legend of brothers who regifted each other the same pair of moleskin pants for over 25 years isn't just a legend. It's actually TRUE!

"For twenty-five years, two brothers-in-law traded the same pants back and forth between them as a Christmas gift, each time finding more inventive ways to wrap them."

It all began in 1964 when Larry Kunkel's mom gave him a pair of moleskin pants. After wearing them a few times, he found they froze stiff in Minnesota winters and thus wouldn't do. That next Christmas, he wrapped the garment in pretty paper and presented it to his brother-in-law.

Brother-in-law Roy Collette discovered he didn't want them either. He bided his time until the Christmas after, then packaged them up and gave them back to Kunkel. This yearly exchange proceeded amicably until one year Collette twisted the pants tightly and stuffed them into a 3-foot-long, 1-inch wide pipe.

This game of regifting went on and on, year after year, with each of the men getting increasingly more creative. One year Collette stuffed the pants into a 3-foot-long, 1-inch wide pipe. Kunkel compressed the pants into a 7-inch square, wrapped them with wire and gave the "bale" to Collette. Then Collette stuffed the pants into a 2-foot-square crate which he then "filled with stones, nailed it shut, banded it with steel and gave the trusty trousers back to Kunkel." 

Kunkel next had the pants mounted inside an insulated window that had a 20-year guarantee and shipped them off to Collette.

Collette broke the glass, recovered the trousers, stuffed them into a 5-inch coffee can, which he soldered shut. The can was put in a 5-gallon container filled with concrete and reinforcing rods and given to Kunkel the following Christmas.

Kunkel installed the pants in a 225-pound homemade steel ashtray made from 8-inch steel casings and etched Collette's name on the side. Collette had trouble retrieving the treasured trousers, but succeeded without burning them with a cutting torch.

Collette found a 600-pound safe and hauled it to Viracon Inc. in Owatonna, where the shipping department decorated it with red and green stripes, put the pants inside and welded the safe shut. The safe was then shipped to Kunkel ...

Other "gift wrap" over the years inclouded a encasing the pants in a 250 steel ashtray, welcding them inside a 600 lb safe, embedding them within a double paned window, and cementing them in a 5 gallon bucket filled with concrete and reinforced steel bars, 

But wait, there's more!

The pants next turned up in a drab green, 3-foot cube that once was a 1974 Gremlin. A note attached to the 2,000-pound scrunched car advised Collette that the pants were inside the glove compartment.

In 1982 Kunkel faced the problem of retrieving the pants from a tire 8 feet high and 2 feet wide and filled with 6,000 pounds of concrete. On the outside Collette had written, "Have a Goodyear."

In 1983 the pants came back to Collette in a 17.5-foot red rocket ship filled with concrete and weighing 6 tons. Five feet in diameter, with pipes 6 inches in diameter outside running the length of the ship and a launching pad attached to its bottom, the rocket sported a picture of the pants fluttering atop it. Inside the rocket were 15 concrete-filled canisters, one of which housed the pants.

Collette's revenge for the rocket ship was delivered to Kunkel in the form of a 4-ton Rubik's Cube in 1985. The cube was made of concrete that had been baked in a kiln and covered with 2,000 board feet of lumber.

Kunkel "solved the cube," and for 1986 gift-giving repackaged the pants into a station wagon filled with 170 steel generators all welded together. 

Not to be outdone, Collette took the gift wrapping just a tad too far. "Sadly, 1989's packaging scheme brought the demise of the much-abused garment."

Collette was inspired to encase the pantaloons in 10,000 pounds of jagged glass that he would then deposit in Kunkel's front yard. "It would have been a great one — really messy," Kunkel ruefully admitted. The pants were shipped to a friend in Tennessee who managed a glass manufacturing company. While molten glass was being poured over the insulated container that held them, an oversized chunk fractured, transforming the pants into a pile of ashes.

The ashes were deposited into a brass urn and delivered to Kunkel along with this epitaph: "Sorry, Old Man Here lies the Pants ... An attempt to cast the pants in glass brought about the demise of the pants at last."

The urn now graces the fireplace mantel in Kunkel's home.


In the birth, life, death, resurrection and Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, God gift wrapped and offered the world the greatest gift EVER given. But you won't have to crack a 600 lb safe or decompress a hydraulically compacted 1974 Gremlin to dig it out of the glove compartment. 

It is the gift of eternal life -- the forgiveness of sin and the promise of the resurrection to come. All you need do is reach out and receive it. Yep, it's that simple. You don't have to wrestle, or saw, or dig, or work for it in any way. In fact, you couldn't if you wanted to. It is a FREE gift, pure and simple, no strings, metal weldings, steel bars, or concrete attached.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV).

"Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" (2 Corinthians 9:15, NIV).


Just Drop the Blanket

Christmas Fear Trust (In God)

Source: "Just Drop the Blanket" by JASON SOROSKI, published, DECEMBER 21, 2015 |

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2023-12-20

Scripture: Luke 2:10

Author: Illustration Exchange


Each Christmas for the past nearly six decades, Americans have gathered around the TV to watch one of the most iconic and beloved cartoon animations of all time, A Charlie Brown Christmas. And within this iconic show, is one of the most iconic scenes ever scripted -- Linus' monologue about the true meaning of Christmas. 

Mocked, humiliated, and confused, Charlie Brown cries out, "Doesn't anybody know what Christmas is all about?!"

Linus gently replies, "I know what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown." And with that He takes center stage to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel as recorded in Luke Chapter Two:

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

"That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

But have you ever noticed what happens right in the middle of that monologue? Linus drops his blanket!

Jason Soroski, writing for The Gospel Coalition, has this to say ... 

Linus is most associated with his ever-present security blanket. Throughout the story of Peanuts, Lucy, Snoopy, Sally and others all work to no avail to separate Linus from his blanket. And even though his security blanket remains a major source of ridicule for the otherwise mature and thoughtful Linus, he simply refuses to give it up.

Until this moment. When he simply drops it.

In that climactic scene when Linus shares what “Christmas is all about,” he drops his security blanket, and I am now convinced that this is intentional. Most telling is the specific moment he drops it: when he utters the words “fear not” (at :44 seconds).


Soroski continues ...

... it’s pretty clear what Charles Schulz was saying through this, and it’s so simple it’s brilliant.

The birth of Jesus separates us from our fears.

The birth of Jesus frees us from the habits we are unable (or unwilling) to break ourselves.

The birth of Jesus allows us to simply drop the false security we have been grasping so tightly, and learn to trust and cling to him instead. ...

... in the midst of fear and insecurity, this simple cartoon image from 1965 continues to live on as an inspiration for us to seek true peace and true security in the one place it has always been and can always still be found.

And where is that? In Christ alone!

Won't you join Linus? Lean into the manger. Behold the gift of the Savior. And drop the blanket!

The Weight of Christmas

Christmas Incarnation Burden (Spiritual)

Contributed By: Brad Strelau | Date Posted: 2023-01-22

Scripture: John 1:1 ; John 1:14

Author: Brad Strelau


In recent years giant inflatables have become popular.

Inflatables are available in myriad variety: Santas, Grinches, Snowmen, snow families, and of course Christmas minions, and the famous Christmas dragon with a Santa hat (because nothing says Christmas like a dragon!).

The inflatables look great and robust, and they can be massive -- until it snows!!

When my wife and I went out for a walk in the first snow of the season, we came across many of these inflatables in our neighborhood. And although I had assumed the fallen snow would only enhance their beauty and grandeur, every one of them was crushed under the weight of the snow. 

Santa was no longer jolly. The snowman was flattened.

The irony was not lost on me. 

The very season they promoted crushed them, and they could not stand up under its weight.

They were flattened by the season they represented.


Fortunately, these symbols of joy, peace, and love do not stand on their own!

They are supported by the beautiful story of the incarnation, Emmanuel, God with us.

Without the strength of that story, the season of Christmas, with all its busyness and ritual, would crush us.

Without the sustenance of its story, the Christmas season itself becomes a difficult burden to stand up under.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God ... The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:1,14, NIV).  

Christmas' 1st Light

Christmas Light Hope

Contributed By: Marcelle Smith | Date Posted: 2023-01-22

Scripture: Isaiah 9:2 ; Matthew 2:2

Author: Marcelle Smith

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Stealing Baby Jesus

Christmas Jesus, Savior Persecution

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2022-12-24

Scripture: John 1:5 ; Matthew 28:20

Author: Illustration Exchange

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The Heart And Soul of Christmas

Christmas Jesus, Savior Incarnation

Contributed By: Charles Krieg | Date Posted: 2018-12-29

Scripture: Luke 2:12 ; John 1:14

Author: Charles Krieg

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No Cheap Gifts For Christmas

Christmas Sacrifice Selfless

Contributed By: Charles Krieg | Date Posted: 2018-11-15

Scripture: John 3:16 ; Mark 10:45

Author: Charles Krieg

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Changed By The Arrival Of A Child

Christmas Incarnation Jesus, Savior

Contributed By: Howard Harden | Date Posted: 2018-01-24

Scripture: 1 John 4:19

Author: Howard Harden

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The Unopened Gift

Abuse Christmas Self-worth

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-01-04

Scripture: John 3:16

Author: Illustration Exchange

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Don't Turn Your Back on the Manger

Spirituality Christmas Circumstances

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-12-13

Scripture: Luke 2:12

Author: Illustration Exchange

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