Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year! And we all enjoy all the trappings that come with the season. Hot chocolate, looking at lights, making cookies, reading books, and of course, giving gifts.
Every year, on our birthdays and at Christmas I choose a small gift that my children give their dad or each other. Sure, I consult them, but mainly it’s me who has put the work and time into thinking of the gift and purchasing it. Because let’s be honest, it’s faster and easier that way. But it’s not really training them up to be good friends/husbands/wives, is it?
This year when the time came to ask my kids (9 and 6 years old) if they wanted to give a Christmas gift to Dad and each other, I expected the usual “okay, what do you think we should do?”. But instead I was surprised to find that the lesson I have tried to teach them for years (that giving is better when it comes from the heart) has finally clicked. I guess you can’t force it, it just happens. They told me, yes, but they’d really need to think about it. They asked me to give them a couple of days. Well of course!
Then my son told his younger sister “hey, I’m gonna follow you for a couple days and also snoop around your room to see what you’re into these days and to make sure to get some good ideas. So don’t be creeped out. Is that okay with you?” (I appreciated the fact that before he started stalking her he asked her permission 🙂
It wasn’t even 24 hours before they both came back to me with some amazing ideas. I helped them narrow it down (because budget – another great lesson) and they purchased, wrapped, and signed their gifts the next day. I have to say they absolutely nailed it! And I am really proud of them.
Incidentally, they also discussed amongst themselves what to get me. And because they are terrible at whispering, I overhead it all and it was precious. First, apparently there is no gift good enough for me (melt my heart). Second, my daughter insisted they look into those mechanical chairs that go up and down the stairs, because I am getting old (dagger in my heart).
That being said I am so excited to see how my children are realizing how wonderful and rewarding it is to give gifts and to see the smiles on the other person’s face. Teaching and indeed training our children doesn’t always yield immediate results. But when we stick with it, help them through, explain year after year and time after time, at the right time, things just fall into place. So don’t be discouraged that your kid doesn’t immediately “get” the things you’re teaching them; you’re planting seeds and they are taking root. And one day, if you water them regularly, they will blossom.