During this month of gift giving, I’ve been thinking about the gifts my husband and I have given our four children. The top three popped into my head without much thinking.
The gift of knowledge—From the time they could sit in my lap, I read to them. I read innumerous books innumerous times. They chewed on board books and scribbled in some as they learned to hold a pencil. We read every night before bed even until they were well into middle school. I remember how thankful I was when we graduated from picture books to chapter books.
We read several series together including Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books and the Anne of Green Gables set. I made going to the library a special treat, and everybody had his or her own library card. We listened to books on tape during long car trips. We bought books and built book shelves in almost every room in our house. Books are still a treasured gift at birthdays and Christmas.
The gift of imagination—We gave our children a set of wooden blocks, the old-fashioned, big kind, and they built castles and towers and doll houses and towns every day. Sometimes, the process of building used up all their play time, and they’d beg me not to make them tear it down to put the room back in order so that they could start the next day playing where they left off instead of starting all over again.
Another favorite “toy” was the dress up clothes. We had several bins full of costumes, silk scarves, sports uniforms, and old bridesmaids dresses I’d cut down to fit the girls. The boys and the girls played for hours with those clothes, writing plays to go along with the outfits or acting out scenes from their favorite books.
The gift of faith—We believed that sharing our faith in Jesus with our children was crucial. Just like we taught them to make good food choices, to be wary of strangers, and to be kind to people, we taught them what we believe spiritually. Using that foundation, they’ve come to their own saving faith in Jesus Christ.
Sure, we’ve given other gifts throughout the last two decades, but these are my favorites.