The Joy of Giving

A friend of mine gave me a bag full of toys last month. It was just a few action figures her son had grown out of — a knight on horseback, a dragon, a couple of archers… In short, exactly the type of toys five-year-old Big Brother loves.

I thanked her, put them in the cupboard for the right time to pass them on to my son, and promptly forgot about them.

A couple of days ago I was searching for Christmas wrapping paper and came across them. It seemed like the right time.

“Do you know my friend Claire?” I asked Big Brother.


“She asked me to give these toys to you as a present. Her son doesn’t play with them anymore, and so he’d like you to have them.”

“Wow,” he said. “Claire’s son is very nice.”

Then he set to playing with them. He gave them all new names, introduced them to his own King, Queen, Knights and Fairies, and I went back about my day.

A little while later, Big Brother came out to see me. He was carrying one of his favourite jigsaw puzzles — a 100 piece puzzle of classic automobiles.

“I haven’t played with this in a long time, have I Mummy?” he asked.

“You can play with it if you want to,” I said. I was cooking dinner, and trying to contain a force of nature cleverly disguised as a 22-month-old boy.

“No,” said Big Brother patiently. “I mean, I haven’t played with it for weeks and years.” (He’s still struggling to understand all these time measurements.)

“I suppose not.”

“Well I could give this to Claire’s son,” he said. “Because I don’t play with it any more.”

I looked down at his earnest expression as he gripped the puzzle box firmly in his little fingers, halfway between clutching it to his heart and offering it to me. And all I could do was give him a hug.


At this time of gift-shopping, feast-prepping, paper-ripping, wine-drinking, tree-trimming, and family-gathering, take just a moment to remember the simple joys of Christmas.

The magic of Christmas isn’t in the money you’ve spent. The magic of Christmas is the joy of giving.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours.

Merry Christmas


Like many bloggers, I will be taking a break between Christmas and New Year’s. Thanks so much for giving me the gift of your time this year, by coming to read what I’ve written. I hope you enjoy a safe, happy holiday season and look forward to catching up with you in 2013.Β 


Filed under Random Stuff

10 responses to “The Joy of Giving

  1. Jo- We had a similar experience that made me proud and sad at the same time…My 4 year old son, after struggling to even share his favorite little ninja turtle car with his 2 year old cousin, actually told me at the end of dinner that he wanted to give it to her to keep. He seemed happy to do it- And the whole family just thought that was great. But, before bed, we sat knee to knee during a new nighttime routine where we tell each other something about the others that made us happy or that was good about them that we saw that day. When I brought up the sharing/giving of his car, my son realized what he had done. His mouth turned downward in a grimace, and his eyes began to tear up, and a little tear dribbled down his face. In a broken voice, he asked if the car was now at his cousin’s house- and he fought back the tears somehow knowing that he wasn’t supposed to be sad. When I asked if he was sad he gave her the car, he said “No”, but more tears quietly dripped down his nose (and his sister wiped them away- tug my heart some more, right?)….but I hugged him and reinforced how proud we were of him for having such a giving, good heart. He stopped tearing up, and seemed to like the compliments and the hugs. πŸ™‚ Your son’s puzzle reminds me of my son’s ninja turtle car- And, I think you should be quite proud of your boy. πŸ™‚

  2. Jo, it’s such a delight to watch your little boys grow up from afar. Tell them they have an extra aunt in Texas. The Christmas picture is wonderful.

  3. Wonderful story! What a delightful heart your son has. Merry Christmas from just outside Chicago. -Mimi Broihier

  4. You’ve been challenged to answer … The Coffee quiz, check it out here (bottom of post):

  5. Oh my. Tearing up. Love your boys. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas x

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