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How to Make Someone Feel Really Good About Their Gift

Erin Zammett Ruddy


It’s really important to Nick and me that our kids are polite. That they say hello and goodbye, please and thank you and that they look people in the eye while doing it. This time of year, we also focus on having good manners when receiving gifts. We impressed upon our kids that no matter what they get, they should be excited and grateful and say thank you. Even if they already have the toy/book/ball. Last night we were opening presents with Nick’s parents over Skype and we got to see our work in action. Alex got to a package of Ninjago-themed underwear and when he tore off the wrapping he said this (in a super-excited voice):

"Oh my gosh, I love Ninjago!!! And as a matter of fact, grandma, all of my underwear now are too small for me!!! And they all have skid marks!!!!"

I really wish I’d gotten it on video. We were dying. I wanted to post it on facebook last night with the header: a sign that perhaps we took the "be enthusiast about any Christmas gift you receive" lesson too far but it broke my “no posts about poop” rule. Fortunately I have no such rule on the blog. I’d also like to state for the record that this is just not true. At all. (Trust me, I checked.) Alex has clean underwear that fit him, though he can always use more (thanks, Debbie!). He was just trying to make his grandparents feel special about their gift. And he did. He’s such a sweet, sweet boy and I've been really proud of him this holiday season (apart from a few silly outbursts at church). Last night I was lying with him in his bed (we had a touch of a nor’easter here and the wind was howling so he was freaked out that we were going to lose power and have trees fall on our house a la Sandy). I wrapped my arms around him and a minute later, out of nowhere, he sang, “Comfy, cozy are we….”

I hope you all had a great, comfy/cozy Christmas. Ours was really nice, though poor Nick got violently ill Christmas Eve night and completely missed every single part of Christmas day from church to opening Santa’s gifts to the awesome dinner we ate at my parents’ house. Good thing we have about eight more days of vacation to make it up with him. 'Tis the season to keep the party going!