The Perfectly Wrapped Gift and The Joy of Giving
I am also of the conviction that there is not enough time to be prideful.
The perfectly wrapped gift looks a lot different these days.
Years ago I gave-up on the idea of having a fancy tree. And now, as my children have earned the privilege of full-on scissor use… I have also let go of the perfectly wrapped gift.
In fact, a lot like my tree, I think presents wrapped by children are way more charming and sweet than the perfectly wrapped gift.
Also (Read: MORE IMPORTANTLY)…
WHEN THE CHILDREN WRAP THE PRESENTS THE MOM CAN DO OTHER THINGS.
So while my kids are learning (or not learning) the math behind measuring paper and the dynamics of folding paper around the edges of various shaped gifts… I am free to do the laundry or dishes or dinner… or catch-up on Facebook.
Or take a moment to sit and drink the eggnog latte my husband made for me…
The best gift I have given myself is the gift of letting the kids wrap ALL THE THINGS.
OK, there are some things they don’t wrap, but I think you catch my drift.
(Read: they don’t wrap THEIR OWN gifts.)
A wonderful side effect of this
act of desperation training is the kids opportunity to take pride in a job well done. They take ownership in their skill and creativity. In fact, this year my son shared he looks forward to the tradition of me calling them in, locking them in my room together (or separately) so they can prepare for gifts to be ready to give.
I thought I was trying to survive.
Sometimes I feel guilty for passing off things to the kids I feel should be MY job.
But I shouldn’t.
My kids aren’t my slaves, instead responsibility and expectations (age-appropriate, of course) are good for them. Taking ownership in tasks that are important builds them and helps them prepare for the day ALL THE THINGS fall on them.
Plus, we are a family. Working together as a family is great practice for learning how to serve those outside of the family. Serving and helping others takes thoughtful effort and I think when we are raised with the expectation to work together and to help one another… it trains us to recognize and work to help meet the needs of others when mom isn’t around to remind us.
My son will often throw different occupations at me and ask, “Would you be proud of me if I *insert occupation here*?
Occasionally he’ll throw out an occupation I would prefer him not to choose, but every time I tell him, “Of course I have hopes for what you choose to do with your life, but more than anything I want you to do something that makes you happy, and supports what your family needs. More than anything, I want you to love and care about others.”
Speaking of others, Back in November I was invited to Nintendo Headquarters.
I was invited with select others to join in on an evening of gaming with the President and COO of Nintendo North America Reggie Fils-Aime.
(I am really good at THIS kind-of golf!)
The event was on #GivingTuesday. At the close of the evening each attendee was given a Wii U to give!
So a few days ago, I finally made it back to the Seattle side (it’s close, but sometimes it’s not so close!) and my family and I delivered the Wii U to Seattle Children’s Hospital (link on how to give here).
I’ve had to spend only a little time as a parent of a sick child at a children’s hospital, but have several friends who have had a much more difficult journey as parents of sick kids who were cared for at Seattle Children’s.
Those families go through so much, and that organization works so hard to help make the stay and experience the best possible.
Hard stuff happens there.
My heart goes out to those precious kiddos and those moms and dads.
So when I talked to my kids about what to do with the Wii U, Seattle Children’s was the clear choice. We got to deliver flowers to Children’s earlier in the year too. It is something that has touched the hearts of my family.
Because of my work as a blogger, I get sent and receive a fair amount of toys. So… we also included several bags of new toys and games and books I have received over the year – many from Activision!
Despite some struggles this past year, we are very blessed to have all our needs met and more… and though there may not be much extra cash right now, I am thankful that my work makes it possible for our family to give toys to kids who deserve something special… items we would not have been able to give without generous companies like Nintendo.
In my line of work, I receive many, many requests to give and volunteer time and talent to great causes. Of course I would love to be able to give everywhere and give to everything good. Of course, that is neither effective nor possible. So I’d like to ask you… what cause has captured your heart and why? I would love to know!
Merry Christmas and the happiest of holidays, my friends. May there be peace in your homes and hearts and the sweetest of memories made this season.
Peace and sparkles and joy to the world the Lord is come…