My son and I were doing an early Hannukah celebration tonight at our friend’s house. It was so so lovely. The candles, the prayers, everyone reading the story of ancient Greek gods and magical oil. We had “special” cocktails and delicious white wine. We ate latkes and sour cream and apple sauce. Our friends had bought my son a gift and I had brought one along for him as well. We have the tradition of one gift per day for the 8 days of Hannukah. Most of those 8 gifts are little ones. Well Liam’s eyes just lit up when he saw the giant kinder egg the friends had bought him. He sure had fun putting it together.
I wasn’t quite so successful with the gift I had chosen for him. It was a Cake ‘n Cup set. You bake two mini cakes in coffee mugs. When the cakes are done and all gobbled up you are left with two perfect hot chocolate mugs just in time for all the snow we received here! Well Liam didn’t think it was such a hot gift. So….he asked if he could speak to me privately. He let me know that he really appreciated the gift and time I took to select it but that he wasn’t crazy about it. He asked if he could exchange it for something else. (I know this sounds strange but in trying to reduce our over consumption and apathy towards tangible items, I much prefer to offer him the chance to exchange his gifts for something he truly likes, than for him to feel obliged to use something because it`s there). Sometimes we try to return it for a gift card, sometimes donate it and sometimes regift it to someone we know will appreciate it.
And so tonight, in a heartbeat, when he realized that we had not brought a gift (aside from some food to share for the potluck and a bottle of wine), he was eager to offer up his gift to our hosts who had mentioned they thought it was a really cool present. I felt really proud. To come back to earth……and more objective ground, I thought over how differently it would have passed had he loved the gift!
We automatically recycled that gift. Right there on the spot. What`s that thing they say about the thought counting…..
by Dahna Weber