Giving Gifts

We had a Christmas gathering with friends last night.  We had a wonderful time eating tons of yummy food, singing Christmas carols, and celebrating Advent together.

The children all participated in a Beanie Baby gift exchange.  We love this tradition with the children.  No one spends money on this one.  We all go digging in our homes in search of Beanie Baby-type toys that are in good shape.  We wrap one per child, and then the children exchange them at our party.  Fun!

Chloe opened a pink teddy bear in the gift exchange.  She immediately loved it and hugged it and made it roar.  It is a blessing to see such a thankful heart in her.  Then for the next half hour, she enjoyed putting the bear back in the gift bag, covering it up with the tissue paper, and pulling it back out for hugs.  Over and over, she relived the excitement of receiving and opening the Christmas gift.

Then on the way home from the party, Chloe wrapped the bear up in the tissue paper and gave it to me to open.  And she did it again and again and again.  Each time, I reacted with surprise and thankfulness.  She wrapped it up and gave it to Elliot who also acted surprised and grateful.  Then it was Zippy’s turn to receive the pink bear wrapped in tissue.  He, too, was excited and surprised when he opened it.  So went the gift-giving game all evening.

It was so cute to see Chloe play the giving gifts game.  It is such a common game for kids to play.  Usually children love to play that game when they are quite a bit younger than Chloe is.  They play it as they learn and experience gift-giving.

I remember my oldest nephew playing the game when he was around 4 years old.  His take on the game was to wrap up things that belonged to him and give them to people.  And he expected us to keep the gifts!  I remember being so torn with how to respond.  I wanted to honor his giving spirit, but I didn’t want to keep his gifts.  Besides that, I really didn’t have a need for a picture book or a Matchbox car.  What a giving heart!

It is such a cute, sweet game, and it is such a joy to play the game with Chloe.

She played the game again this morning before school, giving to me and to Elliot and to Zach.  And the toy she chose to take with her on the bus this morning:  the pink bear and a piece of tissue paper.  I have a feeling the bus drivers will receive lots of gifts from her during that 20 minute ride to school!


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