Monday, December 20, 2010

It Is Better To Give

Ashley started her Christmas list months ago.

And she adds to it almost daily. (After all, there are so many things she has to have -- even though it took us well over an hour to clean her room this afternoon.)

But yesterday, she wasn't thinking about what she wanted for Christmas.

As we were getting ready to head out for some final Christmas shopping, she came to me with a very serious look: "Do you think I could buy presents for my birth family?"

When I asked what she had in mind, she said, "Well I don't really know what they'd like, but I want to get them something for Christmas."

I assured her that we'd find something suitable and asked who she'd like to buy gifts for. She named her birth mom, her birth sister and her birth grandmother.

At the store, she quickly settled on candles for her birth mom and a locket for her birth grandmother ("so she can always have my picture").

Her birth sister was a bit harder. She picked up a toy that she would like and asked if I thought her birth sister would like that.

She was a bit sad when I replied, "Well, she's 10, Ash. I'm not sure she still plays with that stuff."

"But then I don't really know what she wants Mom. How do I know what she'd like?" (This is the same child who picks out her brother's gifts based on what she'd really like to play with -- who knew that she really listened all the times I patiently -- or not so patiently -- explained that you buy people what they want, not what you what you want.)

In the end, we settled on a necklace for her sister, and Ashley happily told me, "She'll love this."

We wrapped them tonight. Ashley drew pictures and made a card. And we packaged them up to mail tomorrow.

At bedtime, when I asked "What are you thankful for?", Ashley replied, "All the presents for my birth family. I'm happy because they'll like them."

Next weekend, her focus may only be on what she got for Christmas -- but this weekend at least, she was focused on the giving part of the season.

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