The Gift of Giving
… and the 99¢ Store in Puerto Rico
Grandma gave each kid a certain amount of money to buy gifts for others for Christmas. After Christmas, they all went to the 99¢ store and got to buy something for everyone in the family (10 of us total, so for 9 others) and grandma said it took forever … and was the most wonderful time with the grand kids.
They went back and forth about which gift was the perfect one to give. “What would my aunt really, really like? What would she find useful? Do you think it’d be this one or that one? Hmm, I can’t decide.” It was as if they were deciding the future of a country’s economic policy. They went back and forth and returned items and picked up them up again and went to three shops (all 99¢-type stores near our house here) and took hours and hours. They all loved it. They all told us about what they got and how it was going to be best gift ever. They were so proud.
Can kids enjoy giving more than receiving? Have you given them the opportunity?
They spent a few more hours wrapping them, taping, tying, writing out the To and From cards and setting them under our (110% kitch-o-rama purple) Christmas tree here in Puerto Rico. They were so excited for us to open them. Honestly, they were more excited than when they got their own gifts on Christmas day.
The kids were very concerned that we would like the gifts they chose. They took it very seriously.
We opened them with great fanfare and thanked each one profusely for each gift. It took a while to get through 40 gifts (9 of us times 4 kids plus a bonus gift they got to get for themselves), but the enthusiasm was easy to keep up as they were just so thrilled. They were also genuinely concerned as we opened the gifts that we would like them. But we liked them all … even the bike reflectors my brother-in-law got (very useful).
I think there was a tie for best gift. My wife got a clock with Puerto Rico above it (we weren’t sure we could find the arms … ) and my sister got a little nail file with an elegant woman drinking wine in some sort of painted enamel on it. It was a beauty. My 6-year old, who I modestly say is occasionally quotable, described it as, “Just a lady drinking wine.” The presents were often extremely (even embarrassingly) on target.
One Year Later
My son still tells me (and anyone who listens) a year since last Christmas, that he got me a beer and tea mug that I “use all the time, he even brings it to friends’ houses.” He exaggerates a bit … I do use it, though, and I think of him every time I do. He notices every time I use it and usually makes a comment.