Yes, I’m behind…but this was lower on the priority list than shopping, mailing, exercising, etc. I know you understand. 🙂
Years ago, when our children were about five and three years old my husband decided he would give each child $5.00 and take them one at a time Christmas shopping for their siblings at the dollar store. Over the course of a single day he took them one by one to make their purchases and then they would come home and wrap their gifts.
They loved the shopping and wrapping, and they especially loved getting to keep the change. I loved being at home and watching each one return to the house with their treasures and then come out of the bedroom, wrapped gifts in hand, and place their gifts under the tree. They were always so excited!
As they grew older I began a chart for each child and they started earning their Christmas shopping money by doing extra chores around the house. The first chart had boxes worth twenty five cents each and I would say things like, “Will you put this in the other room for Mommy? You can mark a box off on your chart!” They would gladly do extra little things around the house to earn their money.
Then payday would come and they would go out on their little shopping trips with Papi to purchase something for their siblings. Our hope was to teach them to be giving at Christmastime and to also learn how wonderful it feels to know you paid for your gifts all by yourself.
Time has past, the gifts are more than a dollar now, but the tradition continues. While this fall and Christmas season have been the busiest one we’ve seen in a long time the kids have managed to find some time to do a few extra chores around. My son did some weeding and extra yard work, one of my daughters did extra kitchen cleanup one busy day and her twin sister polished all my silverware for Thanksgiving dinner.
This year I took each of the kids out on the shopping trips because my husband has been busy with military responsibilities taking him out of town, or preparing to leave out of town. I’ve taken them out on three different evenings.
We start with a trip to Starbucks for a drink, coffee for me and a hot chocolate for them, and then we head out to the stores. We’ve enjoyed chatting while we shopped, running into folks we know at different stores and just spending time together.
What I’ll remember forever about this year’s shopping adventures is how each trip I was able to learn a little more about each one of my children individually. It’s interesting the topics that came up and how each one of them shared in their own unique ways about their daily life.
They are growing up, these kids of mine. I’ve written in many a Christmas card this year that I’ve traded changing diapers and chasing toddlers for driving my kids all over the place. And while there are moments I miss them as little ones I am greatly enjoying the young people they are becoming.
Now, more than ever, I’m also grateful for these little bits of quality time I’m able to spend with each of them. I’m also grateful that they want to spend it with me.
Some day they will grow up and begin lives of their own away from our nest. I know it won’t be easy to let them go, but I also know I’ll always have these memories to treasure forever.
Read more Tuesdays Unwrapped here