So what was my daughter's favorite present this Christmas? Her own.
Quick back story - As mentioned in a previous post, we recently tried the saving-for-a-goal approach to dealing with allowance. My daughter taped a picture of something she wanted to buy - a neat, kid-sized pottery wheel that came with wood, clay and paint. Over the course of a few months, she saved enough to purchase the wheel. Having the picture taped directly to her save bank helped serve as a reminder at allowance time. Sure enough, most of her money went to saving. When she saved enough for the item, she gave me her money and I purchased it online for her. I would have preferred to purchase this item at a store so she could physically pay for the item, but then this wouldn't have happened...
Back to Christmas - She had already opened most of her gifts as I picked up the brown box that had arrived with her name on it (one of several). It had been a busy holiday season and I had forgotten about the order we had placed for her. I thought this was another gift from one of her long distance relatives. We opened the box together and when I realized what was inside, I almost jumped with excitement. My daughter, though, went bananas. She was so excited and proud that she had received the toy for which she had so diligently saved. It was a an exciting moment for both my wife and me. Of all the presents she had received, none had elicited such a powerful reaction. We had stumbled into an incredible teaching moment for our child. She had learned the power and pride of saving for something on your own. She had received an incredible Christmas gift...from herself.
I wish you all a Happy New Year!