L.A.F.F. LAW ADVOCACY FAMILY FINANCE A monthly newsletter providing your family insight about the law and finance (with an occasional dose of humor) from your friends and advocates at DuPont Wealth Solutions and the Law Offices of DuPont and Blumenstiel.
THE JOY OF A CHILD AS A PARENT, CHRISTMAS JOY COMES FROM GIVING THE PERFECT GIFT
When I was growing up, the most important thing about Christmas was what I got. Back then, I hoped to unwrap a Mattel Electronic Football game, a Stretch Armstrong, or Hot Wheels. It’s a far cry from the iPhones, Amazon Echos, and expensive gaming consoles kids are asking for today. But somewhere along the line, everything changes. Instead of wondering what you’ll get, you start thinking about what you can possibly give. You find more joy in giving the perfect gift than getting it. That’s when the meaning of Christmas changes for you, which is how I believe God intended it.
“I WISH I COULD REMEMBER WHAT THE GIFT WAS
THAT MADE HER CRY OUT IN SUCH JUBILEE … BUT I’LL NEVER FORGET THE WAY HER FACE LIT UP WHEN SHE SAW IT."
That change happened to me when I first got married, and the joy of giving only increased when I became a father. I suppose many of you will be able to relate to that. For me, the change happened gradually. After all, for the first few years of Sophie’s life, she had no idea what I was giving her. When she became old enough to care, my entire world became about getting her the perfect Christmas presents.
Now that Sophie’s 15 years old, her gift ideas have changed. Gone are the days of Barbie dolls and arts and crafts. Instead, the best way to get her face to light up is a new makeup kit or clothes. I’m not very involved in those purchases — that’s all my wife. She has a great eye for those things. But it’s still nice to see her pleasantly surprised when she receives what she
was hoping for.
One of my favorite Christmas moments happened when Sophie was barely 5 years old. We were at her grandparents’ home for Christmas Eve, and she was permitted to open one of our presents. She tore through the wrapping paper with her small 5-year-old hands, beheld the gift, and screamed, “That’s what I’m talkin’ about!” We all laughed. It was hilarious to hear such a young person yell that line. I wish I could remember what the gift was that made her cry out in such jubilee. It might have been a new Barbie doll. But I’ll never forget the way her face lit up when she saw it. There’s so much work that goes into Christmas. You have parties to plan and attend, gifts to buy, decorations to put up, and food to cook. But when all’s said and done, when the money is spent, the decorations are up, and the dinner is in your belly, everything about the holiday pales in comparison to the pure, unfiltered joy of a child at Christmas.
My joy is amplified because I get to share it with the wonderful family we have in the area. Sophie has both sets of grandparents in town. They’re the spoiling type, as most grandparents are. Wherever you are and whomever you’re with, I hope you get to celebrate Christmas the same way we do, full of delicious food and surrounded by the warmth of those you love. When I say Christmas is all about the joy of a child, I suppose I mean something deeper than that. At its essence, Christmas is truly about love.
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