Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Perfect Gift

Years back when I taught CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) classes, one of the assignments I gave the kids was to write 5 things that they liked or admired  about each other....and me.  To help them out, I provided each of us with pieces of paper, with individual names, five lines, and all they had to do was fill in the blanks, and sign their name.  My purpose for this assignment was to encourage them to look for the good in others.  The interesting part was watching their reactions when I announced the project.  They were all excited.  They looked at each other; they all giggled.

We had two weeks to complete our lists.  Then the Wednesday evening came around when they were to bring them to class and turn them in to me.  I sorted them out by name, put them in envelopes, licked them shut, and handed them out so each student could take home an envelope filled with handwritten lists of the things that their friends really liked about them.  I gave myself an envelope, as well.  I asked them not to open them until they got back home.  This was private.

Oh, dear, when I read my lists.....I cried......good tears. 

The neat part of this story is that this particular class of students had the open reputation through high school of being a closely-bonded class.  I don't mean to take credit here, but could this assignment have had something to do with the closeness and respect they had for one another?

In these days when there isn't a whole lot of money to spend on presents, this would be a terrific gift idea that I can honestly say I think anyone.....young or old.....would love to receive.  And, the price is right.  Who among us doesn't need to be encouraged, feel confident in ourselves, and know that others think we're pretty special. 

What started out to be an assignment for the kids, ended up being something of incredible value to me.  I had no idea that a few pieces of paper, with 5th grade penmanship and scribbles, could possibly mean so much. 

Just between you, me, and the tree........this group of kids were my pets......and they always will be!