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Better to Gift Than to Receive

Today I diligently cleaned up what was the aftermath of a very jolly, generous Christmas. As I watched my husband dutifully break down boxes and construct bushels of tissue paper into giant tumbleweeds all destined for the recycling bin, I wondered if the meaning of Christmas had been lost on my girls. As they get older it seems harder than ever to teach the idea that it is better to give than to receive, especially with all the excitement of Santa. At ages 6 and 4, the holiday season is by far the most magical time of year in our home. Of course there were plenty of “Don’t care how, I want it now” moments (a la Varuca Salt). But as I looked back on the past few weeks, I was pleased to realize that a few sweet moments had also ensued. Like when Darby’s school was raising money for children with cancer. She joyfully stuffed a wad of cash collected from several tooth-fairy visits into an envelope to hand-deliver. Or when I almost forgot our yearly tradition of donating to our local angel tree, Darby didn't forget and insisted we make it happen. So on the last day of collections, we made a special trip to the school to deliver it even though she was home sick that day. It makes my heart sing when I see my child act in kindness and consideration toward others. Though I expect my requests for her to brush her teeth, or clean up her room will likely continue to fall on deaf ears, it’s good to know she must be paying attention to some of the teachable moments. Now we just need to work on baby sister…


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