Today my daughter went to school looking like a more extreme version of her bag lady self. The kid down the street came in to warm up by the fire. He said, “Are you really going to bring all of that?”
“Soon I’ll have to get her a shopping cart.” I said.
She had all her usual junk piled in little plastic bins, bags stuffed until the seems stretched, and a backpack that may or may not lose homework before the first bell rings. Then she had two small gift bags.
“What are in those?” I asked.
We hadn’t shopped for any of her friends. I only began Christmas shopping yesterday, and well, the budget is tight. I’m doing my best to stretch it, but I’m still not sure it will stretch far enough to cover her friends.
My daughter can know you for two point five seconds and consider you one of her closest friends. She lives with open arms and a big smile. She also loves giving gifts, so her list, well, you can imagine. There aren’t many on the naughty list.
She opened the first bag and pulled out her favorite penguin with the giant blue eyes. She said she was giving it to her one friend who looooved penguins right now. Then she opened the other bag and pulled out her little mechanical puppy, the one that moves when you pet his back. Her other friend has three dogs, so you know she really wants one more. Of course she does.
I constantly hear and read about people who are stressed out during the holidays. They freak over their credit-card bills and grab at any sale just to check one more name off their list. That’s not really the spirit of Christmas.
We gift, our we should, out of a heart that is overflowing with love and thanksgiving. It’s about knowing our friends and family well enough to know what they’ll love. I’m not saying that’s easy. Believe me, I’ve gifted a few humdinger gifts in my time, and let’s not prejudged this year’s presents. No one has received them yet. All I’m saying is that there’s a lot to learn from our children.
There’s no telling what my daughter will drag, carry, and push to school next week, but I’m kind of excited to see. She’s my little elf wearing neon clothes and messy hair.
She gives good gifts.