Gift giving is a great holiday tradition. But sometimes when you give honest children a present you get honest feed back. This Christmas Gift Game is a great solution. How many times have you cringed when you heard “I already have this!” or “This isn’t the toy I wanted!” or “Why would you give me this?” . It’s so hard when well meaning people purchase gifts for children. As young children often haven’t developed tact and thoughtfulness it can be socially awkward. My husband loves to tell the story where his Grandmother bought everyone socks and he couldn’t lay off the smarty pants comments.
But not to worry! This game should take care of that. To play this game you need a group of lovely children, some music, and a beautifully wrapped gift. Start the game by sharing how important it is to be grateful for whatever you get. Have your kids sit in a circle and turn on your music. Once the music is playing pass your present around until the music stops. Invite that child to open your lovely wrapped present.
Wait for them to open their gift. Mostly likely you will hear an upsetting remark or confusion as they discover and they pull out their present. You are going to want to place a “less desirable” present in your box. I used a wad of dryer lint. Other great ideas include a wet diaper, bag of toe nail clippings, a broken shoe, banana peel, a used can, hairball, an old slipper. Really the possibilities are endless. The idea is to help them practice being thankful when they get really awful gifts so when they get something less exciting they can say politely, “Thank you for thinking of me!”. Keep taking turns playing this game and have the kids practice saying a kind thank you. I love the boxes with the lids that come off. You can even add another “gift” in before you do it again or have more than one gift.
We did this last year and it was so much fun! Our kids were so not happy with their gifts. But after modeling what to say and practicing they got much better. Make sure to point out that honesty is important. For example if you received a gift you don’t really care for you shouldn’t say “I’ve always wanted this!” Being insincere isn’t what we want. We just want to be kind. Great examples are:
“Thank you for this gift!”
“I appreciate you thinking of me!”
“This was very kind of you! Thank you!”
None of these sayings are dishonest, but they show gratitude. My kids did so great at saying “Thank you for this used diaper, I appreciate you thinking of me.” Another thing I love about this game is that it encourages giggles. And it also teaches self control.
Disclaimer: I am not responsible for what your kids end up saying!
So we practiced this game for awhile and I was feeling pretty confident my kids would be gracious with the gifts with others. Last year both Gandalf and Draco received Star Wars books and were thrilled. It was Yoda’s turn and he was disappointed to find a Disney Junior Story book with shows he doesn’t watch. I am sure he felt like they were baby shows if I was reading his body language correctly. He made a disappointed comment to which I quickly replied, “What do you say?”.
He then nicely closed the book and pushed it towards the giver and politely said, “ No thank you!” . Grady and I were dying!!! So remember to teach your child to be polite and gracious but remember they are only kids. I hope this game helps your kids learn in a fun way how to be polite. It would make for a great family night game!
And for the most important gift click on my banner #aSaviorisborn to see a video about the best Christmas gift.
Linking up here at Friday Finds