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Giving joys require givers and receivers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 10 December 2015 00:00

By Lori Pankonin


Tradition continues with folks opening their hearts to reach out to others during the holiday season. Giving trees and gift programs flourish with open generosity, people sharing with people. It doesn’t remove the hurts felt with financial stress, medical issues or struggling relationships, but it does help to know others care.

My heart swelled this weekend when I witnessed the innocent exchange of kindness and giving between adorable toddlers.

I was thrilled that 10-month-old Jayven would come to me while his parents played a game at a Christmas party. He looked me over as we walked around, not knowing who this person was but trusting that it was okay he was no longer in Dad’s arms.

We sat down on the floor where Brianna, who isn’t yet 2, was happily playing. She had two new little toys that wobbled when she bumped them after which she’d run with delight and come back and do it again. Such simple joys.

I could foresee I might have to help her negotiate how much she would be expected to share if this infant she hadn’t seen before went after one of her new wobbling toys.

Sure enough, Jayven reached out for one of the wobblers. Was Brianna threatened? Not at all. In fact she picked up both of the toys and gave them to Jayven, watching him with anticipation of his positive reaction.

I gave her the colored slinky I had been holding and she took great joy in watching it expand, giving one end to her new little buddy so they could shake it together. Both were delighted as they experienced something new together.

Wow! I love children and get a real buzz watching their thought process. It’s not uncommon for a toddler to be somewhat possessive and think they have rights to certain toys.

“Mine!” Isn’t that one of their early-learned concepts?

It really isn’t selfish as it seems to be a natural instinct. Oh so many times I’ve seen youngsters try to keep another child from something. They don’t necessarily want it but they feel threatened if someone else takes it. It’s no different with some adults.

That certainly wasn’t an issue with Brianna. Although she no doubt has reign of her toys at home, she does mingle with other toddlers at daycare. Whether she learned the concept or it was natural, she obviously felt the joy of giving and had no hesitation.

Share. Let’s learn how to share. That’s such a key lesson in the early-childhood realm. In my book, it’s just as important as learning letters and numbers. It’s truly a life lesson.

It does feel good to give, especially when it’s not expected. However giving isn’t complete unless there’s a willing receiver. It made Brianna happy when Jayven liked the toy she shared. It made her want to engage more in a connection.

Sometimes it’s difficult for people to accept gifts. There’s a lesson to be learned from the innocent toddlers. A happy receiver provides joy for the giver.

Open your heart and feel the benefit through the act of giving. Whether you’re the giver or the receiver, know that both are important in building relationships. And remember the gift of time doesn’t cost out-of-pocket change but is oh so valuable!

LORI PANKONIN is co-publisher of Johnson Publications newspapers in Imperial, Wauneta and Grant, and part-owner of the Holyoke Enterprise in Holyoke, Colo. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it