We’ve had a lovely Christmas. We’ve spent time with family and friends, and we’ve had time at home just the four of us. We have played board games and built Lego.
We have also over-indulged in chocolate and watched too much TV, but that’s all part of the fun, right? 😉
As usual the kids have received a pile of presents each. The geekdaddy and I enjoy giving them gifts, and so does our family. Again this year each of them has a collection of new toys sitting in the lounge waiting for space to be found in their bedrooms to house them.
Amongst all this receiving it is really important to me that they both learn the joy of giving as well. Since they were old enough to understand we have taken them shopping to choose gifts for us and for each other. We still give them the money for this, but we allow them to choose what to give, and to wrap the gifts. We also make sure that when presents are opened we take turns, and watch each other opening each gift, rather than having a mad free-for-all. I am hoping that these things will contribute to them learning about the joy in giving as well as receiving.
In previous years we’ve taken them into town to choose gifts for other people, but this year we let them order online from Amazon instead. This year was the first year they both very clearly knew what they wanted to buy each other. It helps that they’ve both really got in to collecting Shopkins this year, spurred on by numerous YouTube videos on the subject, and so the geekdaughter knew she wanted to get the geekson a Shopkins bauble and annual, and the geekson insisted on getting the geekdaughter a Shopkins 12-pack plus a couple of specific Shopkins that she wanted for her collection (those were ordered from eBay). I then helped both kids scour Amazon for something for their father, which was hugely eye-opening, as a lot of the items being returned by very innocent search terms were not at all family friendly. The geekdaughter initially wanted to buy a “funny mug” for Daddy, but for some reason Amazon seems to equate “funny” and “rude”. Things didn’t get better when we broadened the search to “funny gifts for Dads” either. Thankfully there were some good gifts amongst the inappropriate ones, and she found a perfect one for her Dad! I steered the geekson straight towards his Dad’s Wish List rather than letting him have free rein to search, and he chose something from that.
On Christmas morning we gathered in the lounge, and the geekdaughter shared all the presents out. We then took it in turns to open one present each, and then wait until everyone else had opened one. What delighted me this year was for the first time both kids took a real interest in other people opening gifts, and each time I pointed out that someone else was going to open a present from them they noticeably perked up and watched excitedly to see what the receiver’s reaction would be. For the first time I saw them both experience the joy of giving, and that made me very happy indeed.
Now if I could just find a way of drumming up the same enthusiasm for writing thank-you letters I’d be a happy Mum indeed!