– “But you still don’t know what the gift is, you haven’t completely opened it, you haven’t experience it yet :)”
Looking at the box with a disappointed gaze he repeated – “yeah, but I am still not happy, I do not like this gift”.
While dad helped open the box it came in, I said: “Well, love, that is your problem. If you are expecting a gift to make you happy, you are in trouble. Either you are happy or you are not, a gift will not change that for you. Can I keep ladybug if you don’t like it? Can I? Can I?””
Silence followed. I could tell he was contemplating what I had said. So was I.
The whole idea of giving and receiving is so confusing in our modern society. A commercialization of what giving is has being misplaced in peoples minds, relationships, homes.
Giving nowadays seems to be a stressful interaction between people and the self. Many grown-up ideas come into my mind as why we take part of the crazy consumerism trend but I quiet myself before I speak with a pointing finger because it really does not matter, I surrender and tell myself that somehow this behavior has to be fulfilling for most of people, otherwise why would the community of families choose to re-live it every Christmas?
Important is though how our children are growing up, where are they placing their priorities and what tools are we giving them to find real happiness. Certainly if we ourselves are not happy and are waiting for a gift to make us happy, what can we teach our children about it?
I had given my boy a ladybug that reflected the stars constellations in the ceiling, a starred light for bed time; Inside the box it seemed like any other ladybug, no video game, no sound, no movement, no guns. My boy was disappointed at the glance of the gift I gave him, because it did not match any of his expectations or any of the commercials he has seen on TV.
My gift had nothing special to it, it was not famous and it was not in fashion; but it had in it the gift behind the gift: the experience of time spent in company of loved ones, contemplating the Universe.
Dad turned the ladybug on and a constellation of stars and a moon shined in the ceiling and we spent the most wonderful hour looking for our constellation and enjoying the glowing sky in the dark. We heard the story of the stars together, and laid down together on the bed to look up, we laughed and were so connected with each other. Dad and son were so in tune.
My stepson, smiling, took a big breath, hughed ladybug and said, “I love my gift”.
Happy holy days