My mother is many things. Sweet, wise, beautiful, funny and kind are among them. But excellent-gift-giver (especially when it comes to little kids)? Not so much. See, she’s one of those intellectual types who, during the course of the past three decades, has traveled all over the world, picking up an assortment of (extremely) random tidbits along the way. She’s stockpiled said tidbits and consults turns to them whenever a situation calls for a gift.
This just in…tomorrow’s Christmas, a situation which calls for a gift.
Which means it’s overwhelmingly likely that my kids will open a carefully wrapped package that contains… dried up finger paint from the 2003 Beijing trip. Or, perhaps, purple sock puppets from her Peruvian sojourn of 1998.
Fear not, however. Because we’ve told all four of our children that no matter what they really think of Grandma’s gift, they are to act as if it’s the best thing in the entire world. After all, gifts are gestures, and the motive behind my 82 year-old mother’s gestures are loving ones. And my kids get that. And because of that, they love her right back.
They just don’t love her gifts! But thanks to our behind-the-scenes coaching, tomorrow, she’ll never know.
Earlier this morning, I saw a clip on the Today Show about a little boy who didn’t exactly love one of the gifts that his parents had gotten him for Christmas, either. Only he made no bones about telling his parents just what he thought. “What the heck is that?” he asked angrily as he opened a box which contained a book. Apparently he didn’t like the book as much as the Wii game system, still in it’s pristine white box, which was visible in the foreground.
My kids were in the room while I was watching the segment, so I wasn’t able to hear very well. All I could gather was the the boy and his mother were being interviewed because the video had gone viral on YouTube, and that there’s been a bit of fallout from many who feel that the boy acted like a spoiled brat.
The mom laughed it off and explained that he’s just a kid and that the reaction was natural. She went on to say her child was extremely disciplined and, overall, a very good boy. Seconds later, her son was given a gift by the Today Show staff, Sheriff Woody from Toy Story.
The child didn’t do a very good job of concealing his disappointment he casually reacted with: “I already have this.”
Hmmm. I’m not sayin’. I’m just sayin’. Maybe next year, they ought to get him a truck or something.
Take a look at the video. It’s only 47 seconds long. I’ve watched it twice now, and while I’m not willing to cast the little pistol off as a brat, I’m certainly willing to say this:
I’m glad our children keep it together a little better whenever they receive a gift that wasn’t exactly at the top of their wish list. Have your children ever had a bad reaction to a gift? Do you have any tips when it comes to kids receiving disappointing gifts?