Sam and Vava's school does the sweetest little fundraiser with the kids in grades K-2.
In December, the school asks parents for donations of gently-used or small, new items. Then, in the last week before Christmas break, they set up a store where the kids can bring in small change ($.25 - $2), and shop for two presents from the donated items.
The parents get surprise gifts, the school raises funds, and the kids get an opportunity to give.
Sure, every year we take our kids out one at a time, give them a little budget, and help them choose presents for their siblings. But it's always with us.
This is pure them.
Sam and Vava climbed off the bus today with gift bags swinging importantly from their hands. They're usually falling all over each other trying to dump their backpacks on the stroller, but they weren't too tired to carry these - this was special.
They warned each other not to tell me what they bought for me - but they couldn't wait to tell me what they bought for Patrick. As soon as Patrick came home, they dashed to tell him they bought surprises (and showed him what they chose for me).
They tucked their presents under the tree and grinned.
I remember the first year that it occurred to me that I could give presents too - not just receive them. I was way older than these guys. And my gifts were always really lame - ahhh they still are. Gift-giving is my least-fluent love language - I'm so grateful for Sam and Vava's teachers helping them to learn the joy of speaking it early.
(Teachers deserve huge presents always, but especially this time of year!)
Merry Christmas, friends.