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The Spirit of Giving

December 06, 2010

I teach a lesson on how to graciously receive a gift. I bring a wrapped gift to class containing a brightly colored pair of socks. I set the scene by telling the children about my little nephew Matthew, who is always the same age as the children in the class, and my Great Aunt Ethel. Aunt Ethel is old and loves little Matthew, but she's not quite sure what young children want. Aunt Ethel has a hard time walking, but she goes to the mall every year to buy a present for Matthew. Matthew has been anticipating a Game Boy, but has not yet received one. He's been eyeing the package from Aunt Ethel, as it seems just the right size. Matthew eagerly opens the package only to find the socks and states, 'Oh no, only socks!'. Aunt Ethel's face shows her disappointment.

"After I tell this story to the class, I give them the following questions to think about: 'How do you think Aunt Ethel felt? How did Matthew feel? Why do people give gifts? How do you feel when you give a gift to someone?' The students take turns practicing appropriate comments they can use when receiving gifts. We discuss the spirit of giving as well as the importance of recognizing the feelings of the giver and the receiver.



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