Have you seen the Jimmy Kimmel clips of parents giving their kids terrible gifts for Christmas, like a potato or a rubber band, and then the parent pretends like it’s the greatest gift in the world while the kids get super upset? Kindergarten is like those videos, except the exact opposite. I’m the one getting those presents from kids and while the gifts seem ridiculous, they actually ARE the greatest gifts in the world. You wouldn’t believe the gifts I’ve gotten from kiddos! Here’s what I’ve discovered about kids, at least in my own personal experience. For all the talk about kids needing to learn how to share, they are truly the most generous people on the planet. They like to give gifts, but the problem is that they have no money, so they give what they have. I can’t tell you how many battered stuffed animals, dolls with ratty hair, and scratched up matchbox cars I’ve gotten from my students. Those are by far the most precious gifts because I know that I was given that Rapunzel doll with tangled hair (no pun intended) because my students know she’s my favorite princess, and I know how much the gift of those matchbox cars means because they’ve brought them for share and I know those are their favorite toys…and you better believe I keep them all.
My favorite gift I got for my birthday last week was…a straw! No kidding! I pulled out the tissue paper from a gift bag and out fell a purple straw from coffee bean! My precious kindergartner knows that my favorite color is purple, so why not!?! I love the way my littles give what they have. I love the way they give me anything and everything that reminds them of me whether it’s a very loved Rapunzel doll, or an individual purple sequin (yes, I have actually received that gift), or a wrapped nickel and penny (which I happen to know constitute all the coins that student owns). Deuteronomy 16:17 says, “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which he has given you.” Kindergarteners truly give as they are able. May we too give as we are able, whether it be money, time, a scratched up purple matchbox car…or a straw!