By Dee Ann Ludwig, adapted
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The only gift is a portion of one’s self.” And that’s what these seven gifts are—gifts of you. They cost nothing, but are some of the most precious presents you can give to your children. Their effects can last a lifetime.
The Gift of Time. In our busy world, the phrase “I don’t have time to…” has become a universal complaint. Like a growing plant, any relationship between two people can thrive only if it receives care. Most human relationships profit from a simple tonic that is called “tincture of time.”
The Gift of Good Example. Children learn fundamental attitudes and behavior by observing their parents. Be a good example by handling difficult situations in a mature manner.
The Gift of Seeing the Best in Children. When we expect children to respond in a positive way, they usually do.
The Gift of Teaching. Helping a child learn something new is an important investment in their future happiness. Sharing our talents is a good way to show our love.
The Gift of Listening. Few of us know how to listen effectively. Too often we interrupt or act disinterested when someone else is talking.
The Gift of Fun. There are people who “wet blanket” the happiness of those around them, while others lead children into finding fun in ordinary events.
The Gift of Self-Esteem. It’s hard to resist the temptation to give unnecessary advice and help to those we love. Such advice may unwittingly cripple a child’s self-esteem. A Chinese proverb proclaims, “There’s nothing more blessed on earth than a mother—but there’s nothing more blessed in Heaven than a mother who knows when to let go of the hand.””
Christmas is best enjoyed when it isn't centered on decorations, gifts, or festivities, but on love. Love is the essence of Christmas. Christmas is about taking quality time with your children; it's about cherishing and celebrating the love you share.