Jackie enjoys gifts. She takes after her dad this way. She delights in every attention and small gifts she receives. Remembers everything she got, the person who gifted her every small thing, and she exudes joy as she recollects the context in which she received every nice thing.
She likes to create cards, crafts, she write nice notes, and gives them to a select few that she simply loves. All normal stuff, right? I play along and enjoy her initiatives. But I never thought I would be so proud of her as this Christmas. Her teacher played a secret Santa game. Every kid drew a name and they had to gift a book from their library. This is my files. I love books. We buy a ton of books. I enjoy receiving books as gifts. The teacher told the kids they have to pick a book from their personal collection. But when we gift something, to give our very best. The thing we value and like and enjoy. Not what we want to discard. So jackie picked the book I read them from all year. The most beautiful Japanese stories big red book. I asked her if she is sure she wants to give that one. She said yes and explained to me the rules of this game. The rules of gifting. I was so proud! Of her. Of her generosity and thoughtfulness. I make an effort to give my very best. I struggle in my heart. I am reluctant and slow. Yet here I am, surrounded by gift givers and gift receivers. It’s easy to give to those I love. Mainly to my daughters whose needs and personalities I’m familiar with. It is my journey of adaptation, to not be so frugal, with myself first and foremost so I could feel free and generous to love my neighbor as myself. My daughters teach me so well this freedom. And I’m grateful for them.