Wednesday, December 21, 2011

generosity: out of control

In my infinite wisdom and quest to teach my children to love each other, I came up with a little activity.

Secret gifts.

I had a box of little junk that would pass for gifts.  I told the girls my plan, let them pick a toy for each brother, and had them hide the presents around the house.

See how cheap I am?
I even made them wrap the gifts in newspaper!  (Nobody cares!)

The gifts were supposed to be given anonymously.  "Somebody loves you!" we told the boys, and they needed no more explanation.  The girls loved the giving, too, and the delight of the secret.  

Well, at least for a few minutes.  Before long the secret was out.
Then, the boys wanted to give something back.  So, they went downstairs and found some old boxes, picked up some of their old random toys, and gifted them to their sisters.
Then the sisters gifted some random toys back.
Then the boys did it again.
The girls, again.

Pretty soon then they started running out of old random stuff... but that did not stop them.
They started giving away their precious toys.  Their buddies and blankets.
With strings.
One has a fish that he gets to sleep with for 24 days.
Another has a blanket that he can have for one week.
One has a teddy bear that he has to share on alternating nights with the giver.
Another has part-time use of a elephant.
Or something.
I think I have some bears and a hippo doing time in my bed, too.

Now, I have no idea whose buddies are who and what belongs where for how long and when.
But, they got to spread some generosity... and that was the point, right?
Not a clean house...

I have a box full of little junk I was planning to let them wrap and hide for each other throughout advent, but it has been two weeks since this first attempt. 

I just don't know if I am ready to start another flood of chaotic generosity all over again!

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