Helping Hands

“Brown paper packages, tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things.”

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I don’t know about you, but much of my holiday preparations (and life preparations) happen after the kids go to bed.  It is a proven fact that our mornings go more smoothly if lunches are packed and ready in the fridge and if clothes are laid out the night before.  Similarly, my process for getting ready for the holidays often happens after the littles are tucked snug in their beds.  I shop online and wrap presents while watching shows with my husband at night.  There is a part of me that loves doing things this way.  It save me the hassle of wrangling kids in stores.  It keeps me from getting worked up, as these things definitely take longer to complete with kids helping.  I also really love wrapping presents and making our gifts look beautiful.  There is beauty in Christmas magically appearing in all it’s glory on Christmas morning, but unfortunately my kids have been missing out on learning about the magic of giving.  Which truly is just as magical as Santa and the reindeer.

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Christmas is all about giving.  That can get forgotten in the haze of lists and sales and parties and shopping.  But if we stop for a minute and think about the joy we feel inside when we have truly given of ourselves and see someone else’s pleasure, that’s what it’s all about, right?  In an effort to streamline my life, sometimes my kids miss out on seeing the beauty of all these preparations – the love that goes into giving to others and spending time and energy selecting or crafting something special.

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I spent some time this weekend with our oldest two kiddos learning to wrap gifts together.  One was responsible for folding and the other was in charge of tape.  Sam likened it to origami and paper airplanes, which of course it is a close cousin.  It was fascinating to see how they were really excited to help and be part of the preparations.  I remember learning to wrap gifts from my mom and dad.  I have always loved the process of it.  I remember feeling respected and cherished during those package wrapping lessons.  By about ten years of age, I think I became the official package wrapper of our family.  And although I’m sure I went through loads of paper and tape, I loved the feeling of having such an important job.  I felt so connected watching the recipient open those lovingly wrapped presents.  In my rush to be efficient I forgot this… until now.

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