By Diane Ako
There's a little bit of Danish Christmas tradition woven into our holiday celebration. Olivia's grandparents gave us a Christmas calendar that my mother-in-law embroidered. It's numbered with all the days of the month, leading up the December 24 (which is when the Danes celebrate Christmas.)
On each day, we tie a little gift. Last year, his parents supplied all the gifts, but this year, it's our turn. We bought an 85-piece food kit of plastic play food and wrapped up several small food items per day. Olivia really likes to play house and pretend to cook.
It's so cute that each morning, she gets so excited to unwrap a gift, and that she always appreciates whatever she gets. Her usual reaction is, "Wow! A (food item)! I'm going to put it in my kitchen!" and she runs off to play with her new toys. She's into lining things up in neat rows.
It's also kind of funny that she hasn't caught on to the fact that for the past three weeks, every single item in the gift-calendar is pretend food. The little ritual always ends with her giving us a big hug and thanking us.
In this season of worrying if the gift I buy friends is the coolest, hippest, trendiest, I should really stop and take a tip from my own kid: that it's about appreciating the gift you get, no matter how big or small.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
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