Monday, December 7

Gift Giving

Did you know there is an art to gift giving? I heard a woman talk about it once and all the dos and don'ts of gift giving made me tired.

It got me thinking, however. Why do we give? Maybe that is the only question we need to be mindful of this season.

Are we giving to reciprocate a gift?
Are we giving because we've given to that person every year?
Do we give gifts of equal value not thinking about the intrinsic value in the actually giving of the gift?
When you give gifts to your you give the same number of gifts to each child?

Lots of different ways to look at giving and hopefully we can share this week ways that we give in our families.

I think the most valuable gift to give is yourself. Either in service or words or time. The person receiving the gift knows that the giver is really giving something priceless...themselves!

When my kids were young, I had them give small presents or at least a card of thanks to their teachers, sunday school teachers, piano or trumpet teacher, babysitters and anyone else in their lives who gave of themselves. Whether that person was paid or not wasn't the issue, the point I wanted to make with my kids was that these people were in their lives and gave all year long. Christmas was a good time to give back with a word or small gift of thanks.

As a former teacher, I learned that giving consumable gifts were always appreciated. A small set of cards with postage stamps, packets of cocoa or tea & a mug, or a small edible we would make along with the recipe. Avon and fragrances were usually over-done as a gift and I tried to avoid that. Don't focus on the gift as much as WHY you are teaching your kids to give.

Getting your kids involved in giving gifts at a young age will help balance the insatiable desire to GET gifts. They will see the thought that goes into selecting a gift. They will know why they are giving and will understand the work or money that goes into gift-giving. As they get older they will appreciate receiving gifts even more and will be able to express their thanks in a genuine way.

As you head to the mall this week, be mindful of WHY you are buying for the people on your list and count your blessings that they are in your life in 2009!

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