Teaching the Art of Accepting Crappy Gifts by Amber of Crappy Pictures

by Guest Contributor

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Last year we gave Crappy Boy a particular gift and he really didn’t like it.

I didn’t really like his reaction but it wasn’t a case of him suffering from appreciation deficiency. It was the case of him suffering from honesty.

Turns out, pretending you like a gift when you don’t and saying “thank you” doesn’t come naturally.

Fortunately, this happened at home. I still had time to encourage proper manners before we spent the holidays with our extended family.

I had a lot of teaching to do. I taught him that some kids don’t have toys and he should be happy with what he has. I taught him that it is the thought that counts. I even taught him about hurting the feelings of other people.

I also briefly mentioned something about returning and exchanging items.

Then we left to be with family. His new knowledge would be put to the test. I was feeling very confident as a teacher.

The opening of gifts ceremony began.

At first, I thought he was going to ace his exam.

He said ‘thanks’ when I could tell he didn’t really like it.

But then something went wrong.

And this time? It was the teacher’s fault. Oops.

Despite being embarrassing, it was also funny. Because embarrassing things are always funny if you survive them. The gift-giver just laughed and said the gift receipt is in the bag. Isn’t is great when people are cool like that?

Anyway, I was still concerned for Crappy Boy’s apparent lack of skill in appreciating gifts and accepting them gracefully. Crappy Papa and I talked about it. Do we spoil him? Does he have an unhealthy sense of entitlement?

Course then we remembered stories from our own childhoods. Like that time when I got mad when I received Rainbow Brite underwear but I wanted the Smurfs. And that time Crappy Papa cried with tears of disappointment over a lacing toy because he hated it so much.

So we decided to cut him some slack. We were expecting way too much.

The next day he received a card in the mail with cash in it.

And he surprised us when we were least expecting it.

Isn’t it great when kids are cool like that?

©2011-2012 Amber Dusick; Crappy Pictures LLC



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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 lisa lo December 24, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Awesome & funny.

Merry Christmas!

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2 Janice December 26, 2012 at 9:29 pm

This is an outstanding lesson. My 11 year old girl is so honest that she often embarrass me in front of everyone. Well it happened this Christmas she received a sweater from her auntie. My sister knitted that sweater for her and guess what my girl just said. “It is ugly”. She did it in front of my sister. I just can’t imagine how my sister felt.

She needs a lesson. Although I have told her is important to be honest, but not that honest. I’ll show you this post. I just hope she does not use this as an excuse to start lying.
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3 The Monko December 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm

My son opened a gift of jigsaws this year and burst into tears because they weren’t a truck. Either I need to do a lot of teaching before next year or i need to make sure that everyone buys him trucks.
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4 Tasha December 27, 2012 at 10:36 pm

That is awesome! My daughter may be a little young to understand the concept of appreciation, but I can at least get a thank you out of her when she opens her gifts, even if she doesn’t understand.

This year she got a lot of clothes, mainly because I asked for them, and the fact that we got slammed on her birthday. I still have toys hiding out in the barn for a rainy day. And of course, just like any other 2 year old, she was more excited about opening the present than anything. When all she’d find was clothes, she’d immediately move on to the next present, saying “more!”

Sometime I worry that I expect too much, while other times I worry that I’m not expecting enough.
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5 Peter June 13, 2013 at 1:50 am

Hmmm – brings back long term memories of things from the past. Despite the fact this post was only written just recently it confirms things don’t change over the years. Had the same problems with our children 30 years ago. If you are like the rest of us from my generation, it will just be another thing you will chuckle about as you look back. Seems nothing really changes….thank heavens.

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