stuff vs. time
Jeffrocentric after I read your post on whether the presents are more important or the time, I turned and asked my 12 year old, “What did you get for Christmas when you were 4?”
She answered, “Trash.”
Which there is a funny story that goes along with that—she was opening presents when she was 4 on Christmas with the extended family and was rummaging through a box and only saw tissue paper, so she said loud and happy as can be, “I got trash!” She didn’t seem upset at all, just stating what she got so everyone could hear. It was so funny, we all fell out laughing—the family has continued to talk about it ever since that happened.
I had forgotten about the trash she got that year while I was asking her the question (there really was a present in that box, she just didn’t find it until later.) So I had a good laugh about it. I asked her if she really remembered that or just the story. She remembered the story, not it actually happening.
Then I asked her if she could remember what she got Christmas 2010….she couldn’t remember at first, that is just over a year ago. Which was strange, because she has received nothing but books for years—I was shocked she couldn’t remember books on her own.
But it is true—they don’t always remember what they get. They do remember the funny stories that are retold. They remember the happiness and excitement that comes from opening just about anything. They remember the traditions and things you do together.