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BOTD 12/11/12 "'Tis Better To Give Than Receive" A Good Boy

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David M. Katz


A DMK Good Boy Production

You and your spouse are very pleased. You have finished Christmas shopping for your three sons, Luke, Mike and Nick who are eleven, twelve and thirteen. All of the gifts are wrapped and under the tree.

Nick - 11, Luke - 13, and Mike - 12

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You and your spouse come home from your office Christmas party and you see all of the boys' gifts are unwrapped and have been neatly placed in boxes and bags. You all are angry and confused. The boys are already in bed. You wake up Luke, who was in charge, to ask what happened.

Luke explained that they saw an advertisement on TV for a charity that collects gifts for needy kids at Christmas. The boys all felt that they wanted their gifts to go to the charity. Luke says they talked it over and decided they had plenty of stuff and so they wanted to help the unfortunate kids. Luke says, "They said the gifts had to come unwrapped. They are all ready to go. There is a collection spot at the mall. Will you take them there tomorrow, please?"

How do you respond?

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


How could you touch those angels?

They seem to "get" what Christmas presents are really meant to be about. I'm going to tell them how proud I am of them.

After we drop off the unwrapped gifts together, maybe we can all do something together--movie, go-cart races, ice cream, something.

John Boy

We will take them to be donated. My wife and I will then go and get a couple of small things for them for Christmas at least. Or a gift card to their favorite store.


Oh, so what Doc said.

I started a tradition with our kids to take an 'angel' off of a tree and sponsor a kid from their allowance for Christmas. They would identify with these brothers.


Editor Extraordinaire
Part of me would want to tell the boys that I'll buy gifts for charity -- not to give their own -- but I'm not going to spoil things for them. I'm sure I have some "Santa" gifts even though the boys are probably well past the age of believing, so they won't have the letdown of Christmas morning with no gifts. However, I'm also sure that they already have experienced that wonderful feeling that comes from giving rather than receiving gifts. It's wonderful that they thought of this on their own without being prompted. We can force kids to share, but we can't force them to want to.


Stone Man

Its a selfless act the boys have done. I can do nothing but commend them for it this year.


Vandalising my wife's carefully arranged display under the tree indeed Shocked Mad

They can dump their presents as they wish and then I'm buying them their own personal straps to unwrap and sample on Christmas morning Twisted Evil


They are their gifts so I suppose technically they can do what they want with them. On the other hand it is my money that has bought them and which they are now giving away.

I am going to sit down and have a discussion with the trio. It would make much more sense if they donated items they no longer want, although they could argue such items will not be new. So, maybe I have to stipulate they can give away any of their gifts that they wish, but during the coming year I will not buy them a replacement for that item. Then if they decide to still go ahead, I'll agree.

David M. Katz

Looks like our Christmas shopping isn't over as we thought. I will praise the boys and help them donate the gifts and then the spouse and I will help Santa find something nice for our good boys to have on Christmas morning.

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


I will ruffle his hair and send him to sleep again.

The next day we will have a talk. I will praise them for their big heart but I will also address what a present means for the one who gives it. That a gift is always something personal. I will explain that it was wrong to unwrap the gifts without permission because it has somehow spoiled not only theirs but our christmas day too.

However, if they really wish to donate some of their stuff I will be supportive. We will also go through the stuff they already have and I'm sure we will find something in good order that can go. It might be not new, but a toy is made to be played with and not to be stored and forgotten. Even used toys can make great gifts if they come from heart.

This way they can keep some of the new stuff they were intended to get for chrismas and can be proud of doing something good at the same time.


I'm going to thank Luke for now and tell him we'll talk in the morning.

Depending on how we (my spouse and I) do Christmas, I'm a bit unhappy with the boys. Not for the idea, which is wonderful, and which I want to encourage. My problems are if I bought some of this stuff because it was something the boys really needed for one reason or another, or if it was something they'd begged for, and maybe I'd spent more than I'd wanted or expected to.

When we talk tomorrow, the first thing I'm going to do is praise the boys for their thoughtful impulse. The second thing I'm going to do is tell them how disappointed (my spouse) and I are, because we put a lot of effort into picking out the gifts for them, preparing them, and that part of the reason for doing that was because we wanted to watch them open them.

A lot of this really depends on how well off the family is. If none of it's stuff the boys needed, and if none of it creates a financial problem, then I'm going to suck it up and let them do what they wanted. If money is very tight, then I'm going to explain that charity begins at home, and we'll donate part of what the boys had.


Thank you Ivor and Padraig - I was starting to feel like a Scrooge (pre-Spirits).

Dmitri, we do something similar, and did our Angel shopping (and most of our cousin/brother shopping) the first Saturday of this month. The kids love it and look forward to it (though some pay more out of their allowance than others).


Its a wake up call for us. I am going to write a cheque for the equivalent amount as the presents cost and we present it tomorrow at the collection spot but also remind them the presents are about our love for them as well. Symbolically we will be re=-wrapping them.

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