Archive for the ‘gift’ Tag

What are we teaching our kids…. Graciousness or Entitlement?   1 comment

Now that Christmas is over and a New Year has begun… I think it is a good time to ask “What are we teaching our kids about giving and receiving?”

When it came to your kids  requests this year, was it: Thoughtful Requests or Wretched Excess?

Are we teaching them to be gracious in both the giving and receiving of gifts or is there a sense of entitlement? Graciousness is an often overlooked value in this day and time. With the economy such that it is one would think that a paring down of excessive gift-giving would have occurred. But did it? Did you honor your kids request for an elaborate gift on their list and prehaps cut corners somewhere else? I realize that the sad shape of the economy cannot be fully understood by the youngest members of the household but let’s face it, it does affect everyone. The realities of less money, job loss, inflation and rising costs weighs heavily on each of us… especially at Christmas time! If the effects of the economy crunch put a kibosh on many of our “would-be” purchases… maybe that is a good thing.

So my solution, in simplified terms is to teach our children, at any age, to think carefully and thoughtfully about their requested list next year and in years to follow. And after they receive a gift, teach them to be gracious and write a thank you note or letter for the gift. This can be something as simple as an email but a handwritten note is nice as the note itself becomes a “gift” to the giver.

In years past, I have seen lists are scattered with items ranging from expensive “smart phones”, iPods, iPads, designer bags, and expensive gaming systems to outrageous requests for cars for which even a college graduate cannot qualify. Ask yourself…..What are we teaching our kids when we provide for them these luxury items at such a young age?

In future posts I will offer suggestions of opportunities to give back through volunteerism. Stay tuned!

Food for though! I would love to hear your comments…..



Do you see the puzzle?   4 comments

Have you ever just given up hope on something happening? I mean really thrown in the towel? I recently learned a valuable lesson on why it is important NOT to give up!

I received a lovely handbag from my daughter as a Christmas gift. I will be the first to admit that she has a much nicer collection of purses than do I so I was borrowing one of her’s prior to receiving that gift. (Hmmmm maybe that is why I got that particular present…..but I digress).
The night that I transferred my belonging into the new purse was December 26th. It was a Sunday night. For some unexplained reason I decided to go up and organize all her purses as it was my intention to put the borrowed purse away properly. The Coach brand bags always come with a brown flannel drawstring dust-cover included. It looked like it had been many moons since any purses had been put away in their dust-covers. There was a pile of purses and a pile of dust-covers. Like I said for some unknown reason that night I felt an absolute burning desire to put every last purse away. After all, my daughter had been so kind in both lending her old purse and giving me a new one! I set out to achieve the task and one by one I placed each bag in its proper cover. Then there was one left… one large red Coach bag…and one large brown Coach dust-cover. But wait there was something different about this cover. I ran my hands down the outside edges of the cover as if I were pressing it with my fingers. I paused at the bottom right corner…there seemed to be something sharp in the corner. It poked through the fabric. It was the stud part of an earring…no wait it was two earrings that had been ganged together as to not become separated. I heart raced. Could it be? No! Maybe? I nearly tore the cover getting the earrings out and as I sat and cried looking at the precious symbols of the love I have for my daughter, I re-lived the past nine years since I purchased them…on the occasion of her 21st birthday! In a split second I retraced the sequence of events in my head….
It was mid January 2001. I set out to find her the most exquisite diamond earrings I could afford. They were going to be a very special birthday gift for my only child’s twenty-first birthday. I found them…they were square cut…brilliant… and expensive. With all the checks in the box, I told the salesperson “Wrap it up!”. She loved them and wore them on very special occasions. When we moved to Tennessee from California about 6 years ago, she placed them in her safe jewelry place and there they would stay until the next special occasion. One such time after wearing them, she could not put her hands on them. Needless to say, she was very upset…but knowing me as well as she does, she was reluctant to tell me that they were missing. For those who have read the blog written in memory of Marzi- the dog with nine lives, you might recall that she was fond of eating jewelry! When she finally told me that they could not be located…we assumed that Marzi had eaten them. So we have been working on that assumption for about five years. I was upset as my daughter expected me to be, and yes, I did remind her of the loss occasionally. That is why with the discover of the earrings in the bottom right corner of the dust-cover of the large red Coach bag…..I let out a yell of excitement. I bound down the stairs like a 15-year-old going on her first date! I shared the wonderful news of this discovery…….and what makes this all so much more amazing is this next part!
A few years ago my daughter was between jobs and wanted to pick up a little extra money. She decided to take some of her extra bags to a consignment store. Imagine how bummed out she was when she was told by the clerk “Look you even have the original dust-cover. I’m sure they are authentic but because there are so many knock-offs, we cannot take these bags”. She really did not understand why it was important that the consignment store refuse to buy that large red Coach bag in its original dust-cover. She didn’t see the puzzle pieces but God did. If she had sold the bag for pennies on the dollar, she would have been happy for that moment and sad for life without the special 21st birthday gift. We have moved no less than 5 times since the earrings had gone missing…there were numerous times for them to be lost but that was not part of the plan!

It occurred to me as I wrote this story….Now we both sees all the puzzle pieces and they are in perfect order. I am amazed at how all things work together for the best. God’s plan! We just cannot always see the finished puzzle. Did I finally see this puzzle in it’s completed form? You bet I did…. on the night of December 26, 2010.

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