December 20, 2015

Past Christmas Posts and A Lesson in Saying Thank-You

Favorite Christmas Posts from
Christmas Past~

A Lesson in Saying Thank You~

Here are a few Favorite Posts from
Christmas Past on Turnips 2 Tangerines~

1. Christmas Cookies
2. Plum Kuchen
3. Chocolate Cornflake Clusters
4. Sea Salt Turtle Candy
5. Panettone French Toast Bake
6. Haystacks
7. Raspberry Cream Cheese Cups
8. Lebkuchen Cookies

A Lesson in Saying Thank-you~

It is important to teach children to say Thank-you....
Not only during the holiday season, but throughout the year.
During the holidays it's easy to forget to say Thank-you.
Children are often overloaded with presents and gifts...
Children can be sleep deprived and "sugared" up.

Whether it's a Christmas gift, Birthday gift or a 
Special Occasion present...
Children need to learn to say Thank-you..
Whenever they receive a gift.
Heck, many adults I know need to learn to say Thank-you!

Children need to learn that it doesn't matter 
how expensive or inexpensive a gift is...
whether or not they like the gift....and
it doesn't matter who gave them the gift...
they need to say Thank-you.

Kids will receive many, many gifts throughout their lifetime and
the sooner they get into the habit of saying Thank-you,
the easier and more naturally it will become for them.
After all, it's just plain good manners to say Thank-you.

I often think of  two incidences that look place
in my life...
Both incidents are very similar...
with the only difference being...
just two little words...

A Lesson in Saying Thank You~

My niece was born with a heart condition,
(my sisters daughter)
which she later out grew..
She was born in the fall, so that Christmas
I gave her an ornament.
I wrote a note in the Christmas card 
I sent that year,
that I was going to give my niece an ornament, 
every year until her 18th birthday..
which I did.

When my niece was born she had an older brother and
within two years, a younger sister was born.
Over the next 18 years,
I gave her an ornament each year at Christmas.
I never gave my nephew or younger niece an ornament.
My decision to do this wasn't to be mean, to cause hurt feelings or
to start an argument between them..
I taught my children,
that just because their sibling receives a gift,
that doesn't mean they should also receive a gift...
I stressed to my children,
that they should be happy...even excited for their sister/brother..
really for anyone receiving a gift...
....not mad or jealous.

In my family,
we don't and didn't exchange Christmas gifts between sisters,
brothers, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, brother-in-laws, sister-in-laws,
so on and so forth....
We did try.... 
picking names..
$5.00 gift limit...
making homemade gifts...
"funny" gifts,
but after a few years
we just stopped...
In fact, after a few years,
we stopped getting together for the holidays altogether...

Over the years,
on a few occasions we did get together but usually
I would drop off the ornament at my nieces house, 
sometimes she was home, sometimes not...
Back then I worked retail and
the holidays were a very busy time for me. 
Most of the time I would call ahead and leave a message,
saying I would be dropping off her ornament....
I would be putting it in the garage, 
in the mailbox, 
on the counter top, etc.

This is pretty much how things went over the 
duration of the 18 years....
The last ornament I gave her,
was an extra special ornament and
I gave my younger niece a special ornament also, 
my way of letting her know, 
that I had not forgotten about her over the years...

I didn't find out until years later that 
I was the only one who thought the whole
Christmas ornament idea wasn't  "stupid" 
Maybe that is why out of those 18 years, 
I can only remember hearing the words Thank-you.. 
a few times.....
How sad is that....

My nephew was born the youngest of three children.
He has a much older brother, around 8 years older and 
a sister, who is about a year and a half older.
My husband and I are his god-parents.

When my husband and I were asked to be god-parents, 
I thought it would be fun to start buying him an ornament each year.
My nephew was born in August,
so that Christmas I gave him his first ornament.
I told my sister-in-law I was starting an ornament collection for him and
she immediately began putting them away for him.

In my husbands family, we didn't pick names or
exchange gifts either....
If gifts were exchanged,
the gifts were usually something small.
My nephew and his family live in South Dakota and
they didn't always make it back to Wisconsin for Christmas.
That's why we always send his ornament.

Over the last 15 years,
the number of years I have been sending his ornaments... 
I can't remember one time that I didn't hear the words.. 

When my nephew was as young as three years old,
his mom called, 
put him on the phone and 
he'd say Thank-you.
It seems so trivial, so silly but
those two words are truly appreciated and
they mean more than most people realize.
Call me old-fashioned, silly even but
saying Thank-you never goes out of style.

As the years went by and he became older,
he calls us each Christmas morning to say
The calls never last more than 10 minutes but
my husband and I look forward to his calls each Christmas morning.

Our nephew takes great pride in his ornaments....
he has a special case for them too... 
He's the only one who wraps and 
unwraps his ornaments but 
everyone gets to hang them on the tree.

Each Christmas, 
the whole family waits to see his "new" ornament...
His ornament collection has become a family 
Holiday Tradition....
Just like it was intended to be...

A collection of ornaments....
A collection of memories....
A lesson in the importance of saying...

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