December 10, 2007
We read this book the day we learned about St. Nicholas, December 6...aka St. Nicholas Day. I did explain that the concept of Santa came from Nicholas, but other than that we just learned about him. He did some crafts and stuff at Candace's the day before, so he and I just talked about him and tried to think of things we could do like St. Nicholas did... give gifts to others without revealing your identity in order to really do it just because it is "better to give than to receive." At first Jacob wasn't really getting in to this. He was fine with the idea of giving gifts, but couldn't really come up with anything to do for the people I suggested.
As we were riding to Grandmama's for a visit, he said, "Mom, I know what I could do. Colin [a 3 year old Thomas-loving cousin] really loves his blue track trains, so I could give him three or four of mine for him to have. That would be great to do for St. Nicholas Day." And sure enough, after much explanation that he was not getting these trains back (he even offered Thomas!!! which I turned down because it one part of it isn't working right) he impatiently said, "but Mom, I just want to give them because it would be kind... And I know Colin will be delighted when he opens them up and gets to play with them!"
When we got home, with no prompting from me, he chose the trains to give, wrapped them himself, decorated the gift tag with Thomas stickers and urged me to "hurry up" so we could take them to Colin. So we went over and left them at his front door for him to find. (Valerie walked to the window as we were running back to the car and Jacob ran behind the car to hide so he wouldn't be found out. It was so cute!)
Fast forward...next day: "Mom, I know Caleb [a 2 year old Thomas-loving cousin] really loves his wooden track trains, so I'd like to give him some of mine to play with." So, again, he chose them, wrapped them, decorated the tag and urged me to get them over there for him.
I am proud of him for his giving spirit. It was neat that he wasn't really excited about buying a favorite treat for Grandmama (because it had no value for him to understand), but was thoroughly motivated to give his trains to little boys that he knew would love them as much as he does. I guess that's how the Lord uses us when we're willing to remember how we feel in a situation and want to minister to others for that reason. He has always been a sensitive boy, it's just masked by the know-it-all, unreserved personality he has. It's been refreshing to enjoy this part of him this week! And it's always good for a reminder that we're all diamonds in the rough.
And back tot eh St. Nicholas Day tradition of dropping gifts off secretly... Jacob enjoyed this so much this year, I think I may make this our new way of giving gifts to our local cousins instead of at our family get together (which is so chaotic, there's no way the kids could even begin to contemplate the "giving" part of it all). It added an element of excitement to the giving for him, one that I want to keep!
Posted by Melissa
Labels: Holidays and Birthdays