The pretty lights and excitement of opening brightly wrapped gifts are not the only things that provide joy and delight for children. It’s also about the giving. How many of us remember toiling over a project at school meant to be given as a Christmas gift for our parents? The pride attached to the process, completion of the task, as well as satisfaction when the recipient expressed sincere appreciation:
Oooooh…. an angel made from the Readers’ Digest. It’s perfect and I LOVE it!
Let’s see… second grade found me tying plastic strips (school received a supply closet full of plastic products donated by 3M that year) onto a coat hangar bent into a circle shape in Mrs. Butzer’s class. We started well before Thanksgiving since we were tying strips the day the announcement came over the loudspeaker that President Kennedy had been shot – November 22, 1963.
Felt, glue and hair clips were the essential materials needed to make handy bookmarks and were given to the piano and Sunday School teachers. Those were the days we all read books that we held in our hands rather than electronic tablets, Kindles, Ipads and the like. Again, mine weren’t this perfect but did include sequins so they sparkled.
These memories from childhood that pop into my head seem trivial, at best, but must have made an impact since they are still there. The feeling of pride from making a gift with my own hands and satisfaction with the process of giving apparently made a lasting impression on me.