Day 15 is something we have always said we would do with our children. I was excited for this day, but also nervous to see how it would play out.
Day 15 was set to be the first time the kids would be receiving presents this Christmas. We were scheduled to have our home-group Christmas party and we had drawn names with the other kids in the group. Unfortunately the party is postponed due to sickness, but we went ahead with our morning plans anyway.
Nate asked the kids if they could think about how excited they get to receive presents. He told them they would be receiving a lot of presents this Christmas from our family members. Then he told them that some kids don’t get any presents at Christmastime. He asked them to think about how sad they might be. He asked them to go through their stuff and pick out toys and books we could give away to those kids who don’t have any this Christmas.
Nate went with Oleg to his room and I brought Wally and Lucy into the playroom. We had a big Santa Sack to put all the toys in.
At first Wally was hesitant and wanted to keep a lot of his stuff (he freaked out a little when I mentioned giving away dvds), but after a little bit he would pick something up, say “give away”, and run over to put it in the sack. He had the biggest grin on his face as I cheered him on. He made a small pile on the couch of the things he wanted to save.
In the end Nate and I were blown away by our youngest son. He wanted to give away so much! He held onto his favorite things (which is how I knew he wasn’t just putting everything in the bag as a game), but the things he really doesn’t play with much he wanted to put in the bag. I was amazing, and slightly horrified as he gave away the first 2 stuffed animals we bought the kids before they were born. I thought about stopping him, but then I realized those toys really don’t get played with so what’s the point of holding onto them. We can learn so much from our children.
Lucy was an entirely different story. From the moment Nate mentioned giving stuff away she started declaring “my stuff” over and over again. Wally would take something to the bag and she would grab a handful of things and put it in the clothes hamper she had claimed as her keep pile. She just kept yelling “My stuff” and “No”.
Here’s a picture of her clinging to her stuffed animals (neither of which she plays with anymore).
Towards the end of our activity we told her that she had to give one toy away. This is what she came back with.
A “stress ball” cow we got for free from the AG expo… notice how the face, ears, and feet have been bitten off.
Is it bad that this stuff cracks me up?
In the end we sat next to the santa sack and told her she had to give away either the lion or the doll. Eventually she put the lion in the bag and then balled her eyes out. I love that little girl :)
(Sorry Adam and Heather, who gave her the lion on the day she was born, part of me really wanted to keep it for the sentimental value, but we really needed to get down and Wally had already moved me towards giving away stuff we don’t use).
Oleg did great. He picked out a lot which cars he could do without, organized the rest, and found some over due library books in the process!
I’m so proud of all 3 of my children!
We ended by letting them open their new Christmas shirts (which were suppose to be worn to the party if it hadn’t been canceled)
This was Nate’s attempt at getting them to pose on the couch holding up their new shirts.
Instead of the party that evening we all watched The Polar Express and hid bells in the kids’ stockings. It was a great day despite the change of plans.