Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Best Gift

My daughter asked me for a present this morning. I told her she had to wait.

Kids are impatient by nature – heck, I’m impatient by nature! But, there are always lessons to be learned and this was the perfect time to teach her one. I asked her why she wanted a present now and didn’t feel she could wait until tomorrow. She simply said, “Because I really want one!”. That’s a typical 4-year-old response, and I couldn’t fault her for it. But, I explained to her that many kids don’t even get one present, let alone many, and that she is very fortunate to have everything she does – a healthy family, a wonderful home, great food to eat, and lots of love! It’s simply a bonus to get special things like presents at Christmas. I reminded her of the baskets for the Salvation Army we contributed to at her school; of the toys we gave to kids who are less fortunate than us. She looked at me and I could see a glimpse of understanding in her eyes - that she realized she was luckier than many children – then she gave me a huge hug. That was the end of asking for a present “right now”.

As parents, we are always looking for ways to instill gratitude in our kids, and there’s no better time to do that than at the holidays. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or nothing in particular, it’s a festive time of year - ripe with opportunity to reach out to others, show a little kindness and be great examples to our kids. 

So, if you see the charitable bell-ringers on the street this holiday season, give your kids a few coins and let them drop them in the kettle. It will make their hearts swell - and teach them that they can experience that amazing feeling, not just at Christmastime but any day of the year, by giving to those less fortunate. Now, that's the best present they could receive!

Happy Holidays from all of us at Oliver’s Labels!

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