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The Value of Giving


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MagnetMom November 19, 2008


We're fairly simple around the holiday time.  When the letters go around asking for money for teacher's gifts, we politely decline.  Instead, my daughter (and my son long before her) and I will bake for teachers, coaches, and friends.  It started in college when I had no money, but then it started a tradition, and people asked for them.  Sometimes the friends would come over and help bake their own.


I've kept that tradition with my kids at holiday time and at school's end.  We bake for special people and take the extra time to make a special, personal gift.  In our house, it's not the cost of the gift, but the amount of thought and time that goes into them.


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CorinneGregory November 14, 2008


I think this is a great tradition and a great message.

The most valuable gift we can give others is of ourselves. Anyone can run to Target and grab a gift card, but to actually spend time MAKING something ourselves, when we're usually so busy running sideways to get everything done...well, THAT is a gift.

I'm the same way during the dreaded "Teacher Appreciation Week" in May. I don't succumb to the pressure of predesignated "gift days." To me, genunine appreciation has nothing to do with following a format. I think most teachers would much rather have a handwritten note from a child, written from the heart, than they would all the coffee-house gift cards in the world. If you appreciate someone, then spend an extra 5/10/20 minutes thinking about what they would like and how YOU would like to express that appreciation.

It really IS the thought that counts -- or at least the thought that went into it.

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MagnetMom November 14, 2008


Corinne,

Do they actually ask you to bring coffeehouse cards during Teacher Appreciation Week? We have two separate Teacher Appreciation lunches--one in February and one in June. They are pot lucks and parents are asked to bring in food and the PTA serves it. Given our very diverse population, we get some really great food. And I think during May we have Teacher Appreciation Week, and each day they do the "bring a handwritten note," or "bring a flower," or some other stuff. I don't mind it, but I, too, tend to mix it up, because 20 separate flowers/bouquets tend to wilt at the same time, and then we'll bring something in.

I do feel like you do about giving of oneself, but I do try to be understanding. There are parents out there both working and they really do prefer to donate to a "class gift" to avoid the hassle.

In our case, I know that several teachers still rave about my son's lemon cake, which I doubt they do over a gift card, but I wouldn't question the other families' choices--just that we made a different choice that we value more.

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CorinneGregory November 14, 2008


We have "suggestions" for each day of the week -- candy one day, for example, coffee/tea the next, or "contribute straight cash for a group present."

It's pretty well set up.

I understand that some people are terribly busy -- but THAT is where the "sacrifice" of the gift comes in. It shouldn't be something one just rattles off, buys, and is expedient about. Many of us are just too busy in our own lives to stop and focus on making someone else's important.

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MagnetMom November 14, 2008


Corinne,

You must be as popular among other parents as I am in mine ;o)

People think I'm doing it to be difficult, it's just a different set of values.

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debrasuefitzge November 22, 2008


every Christmas i bake a turkey and me and my children go to the nearest homeless shelter and give the turkey to them to serve so they have something to eat and we stay there and sing Christmas carols and help serve the food.my kids love doing this every year i have taught my children to give .my oldest daughter said to me one day mom its better to give then to receive right mom.i told her i was so proud of her,she makes gloves and scarfs every year to give to the homeless.my kids tell me this makes their Christmas getting to go to the shelter,and help those who needed it.

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MagnetMom November 22, 2008


debra,

You're definitely teaching your kids the value of their time and the joy of giving. My daughter's school has always done "Toys for Tots" but this year the kids have added donating food to a food bank. It's great to see such young ones trying to help total strangers.

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debrasuefitzge November 22, 2008


thank you magnetmom,ive always tryed to show my kids that its good to give.my daughters school is doing the food drive for the christmas baskets .she has already filled 3 bags from my house full of canned foods.i think its great to teach your kids while they are little the value of giving.god bless you and i hope you have wonderful holidays.

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alfonso December 1, 2008


I feel it's important for kids to share what they have with others. When we go to Mexico he give school supplies and clothes to the needy. But, we don't have to go far in are own neighborhood. The homeless we to volunteer work twice a year. I feel all parents should value the pupose of giving.

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MamaJohn December 2, 2008


wow that is really so nice

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Deanna December 3, 2008


When my 18 year old was small, I would have him go through his toys and pick out some of the nicer toys he did not play with any longer. After he gathered them up we would take them to the family homeless shelter. We just didn't drop them off, we stayed and talked to the families so he would appreciate what he really had. He now has fond memories of giving gifts to children who otherwise were going to get nothing so I believe it encompass the value of giving.
I also have younger boys that I am trying to explain the value of giving to. One Christmas everyone, even family members got hand made gifts. They ranged from tree ornaments to jewelry boxes all made with tooth picks or Popsicle sticks. That was a very fun Christmas. There were a few who didn't care for the items made by the children's hands but the children were very proud that they could give something that they made. Value is relevant. I value the time I had with my Mother. So basically, one can find value in anything that they hold dear to their hearts.
This year with the economy as it is, they younger children don't have near the amount of toys as their older brother did and what they do have they really don't appreciate what they do have. So material items is not the route that I have taken with these guys this year. The gifts we are focusing on this year is the reason for the season. Telling people why we have hope and do celebrate Christmas. Not the commercial reasons but the real reason that December 25th is celebrated, The birth of Jesus Christ. Now these guys have proved to be little evangelists and love to share their love for Jesus with any and all, all year round. We carry Gospels of John that I got from The Pocket Testament League at www.pocketpower.org/225363 and last year we gave many teachers a Gospel of John, keeping the Christ in Christmas. Every teacher that we have given them to has had a smile on their face with a look of surprise. Just because the schools can't teach the Bible, it doesn't mean the children can't have the freedom of speech to share their love for Jesus. After all it is His birthday that we are celebrating.
There are many ways to give a gift without it having a monetary value. The gift of kindness, the gift of volunteering...we as parents have to look beyond money when we consider the value of a gift and teach our children to do the same.
There are many gifts that don't involve money but definitely have value.



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