First, let me just say this is not my idea. I read about it in the December issue of Family Fun magazine and would link to the article if only I could find it. I read about it a few weeks ago and knew it was something that we should do with Haven. Here's the gist of it: Dig out as many gift bags as you need for as many players you have minus one. So at our house we play with three because we make Mati play along, too. One person sits and waits while the rest of us shop the house and pick out a gift for them. The gifts themselves aren't really important. We've used a pencil, stuffed animal, silverware, candles, books...anything is game. We then present our gifts to the designated person one by one. The rule at our house is that you have to look at the person handing you the gift and say thank you. Then you are allowed to "open" the present. Once you can see what the gift is, you need to think of one nice thing to say about the gift. For example, when receiving a stuffed animal, "This will be so cozy to sleep with." Or how about a marker, "I love to draw!" You get the idea, right? Once I gave Haven a snowman candle and she said, "This will look so nice in my bathroom!"
We've been playing for the last week and Haven loves this game! We're hoping that all of the "playing" will deepen her heart of thankfulness and appreciation, not just for the gifts she receives, but the people that give them to her. I hope that it's helping her focus on each individual gift as a special thing and we can avoid the frenzied rushing from one gift to the next that can easily happen. I guess we'll see next week, won't we?!!