Emily’s Christmas Gifts, by Cindy Post Senning, Ed.D, and Peggy Post, illustrated by Steve Björkman
(2008, Collins, ISBN 978-0-06-11703-9)
This product of the Emily Post Institute is, I believe, a good start for the (20)12 Reviews of Christmas!
Emily loves everything about Christmas, and now that she’s a big girl, she loves giving presents as much as getting them, and she gives all season long. Some of the gifts Emily gives are the normal, under-the-tree kind, but the best gifts she gives are “kindness and consideration”–what everyone wants most! She helps with special projects around the house, and she gives the gift of her time and affection to her loved ones. She even does small things for people she doesn’t know when she has the chance. She understands that the hectic holiday planning can leave people feeling cranky, so she does what she can to make things less stressful for everyone. She’s not the only one giving, though! Emily gets those kind of special gifts from her friends and family, too. On Christmas Eve, she shows her thoughtfulness by leaving a note of appreciation (and a tuna fish sandwich) for Santa, and he leaves her a polite thank you in return. What goes around comes around, you know!
This book is a gentle (and probably necessary) reminder that everyone needs a little extra special care around the holidays and that being kind and considerate are some of the best “presents” you can give because they’re what everyone wants, needs, and won’t have to return (except by passing on the good deeds, sometimes right back to the giver)! Best of all, they’re free! 😉 Young children often feel overwhelmed during the busy Christmas season or as though they don’t have anything to contribute, and sharing this book and talking through some of the ideas that the parent note at the end suggests will help give them the feeling of being needed and let them experience the true joy of giving!
GirlChild’s Reaction: GirlChild is very helpful and giving by nature (and she thrives on words of appreciation), so she identified strongly with Emily in this story. I plan to give her plenty of opportunities to help out as we go through this season, and I will try my hardest to show her appreciation for even the most unsuccessful attempt to be helpful and considerate! Recommended for preschool to early elementary age children.
Visit the Emily Post Institute online for tips such as the 5 Step Children’s Manners Makeover for the Holidays and the Home & Family tab for general information for the rest of the year!