My oldest son is 7. My daughter is 5. My youngest is about 2 and a half. Each Christmas, my wife and I have always given each child a gift “from” each sibling. It’s a tradition that both of our families practiced, and so we continue that on in our own.
Until this year, it was always my wife and I choosing the gifts. It was as much a surprise for our oldest to see what he gave our youngest as it was for the youngest. But this year, we felt that our kids (at least the older two) were old enough to participate in this.
So each kid was asked, “What do you want to get _________ for Christmas?” Some of their answers were completely unrealistic, others were surprisingly creative. But I thought the best stuff came when they chose gifts for their mommy and me.
I asked them each what they would like to get Krista. I had already chosen a picture and a frame to be from the youngest (he’s not a very thoughtful gift-giver), but I wanted to see what the kids chose for Krista.
Micah chose to give Krista a special photo album that he thought was pretty and asked that I “start” it by inserting several pictures in the front page (of him, of course). Ally was a little less specific and had me all over south Austin. We finally found ourselves at Family Christian Bookstore where I saw a beautiful little figurine of a mother with a daughter about Ally’s size. I asked her, and Ally consented that this was a great present for Krista.
I was blown away by what they gave me. Caleb (Krista chose for Caleb) gave me a remote control Jeep Wrangler for the two of us to play with together since he has always loved to go riding in my Jeep. Ally gave me an Austin coffee mug because she “knows how much I love the city.” And Micah bought me a construction playset for he and I to practice “building daddy’s church.”
Here was the coolest thing about this year. For the first time I can remember, my kids cared less about opening more presents (though, what kid’s glad to run out of stuff under the tree?). Each of my kids were pumped to see me, Krista, and their brother or sister open their present because of how much they anticipated us getting out of it.
This year, at the Norman house / apartment, it was absolutely better to give than receive. (Though, the gift that Micah got me was awesome!)