Gratitude

The joy of a gift

Drama / Role play

Use your children’s stuffed animals or dolls to act out both polite and impolite ways to respond when you receive a gift.

In preparation, gift wrap a selection of items – some delightful and some not so appealing. The items we’re using here as examples include a banana, a toy car, a mini chocolate bar, a dirty sock, a roll of toilet paper, a toothbrush and a package of batteries.

Use the questions for discussion as a lead-in to this activity.

Questions for discussion
  1. What are you supposed to say when someone gives you a gift?
  2. Why is it important to say “Thank you” when you are given a gift?
  3. Have you ever given a gift to someone who did not seem to appreciate it?
  4. How did that make you feel?
  5. How do you say “Thank you” for something you don’t want or need?
  6. What if someone comes to your party and forgets to bring a gift? What could you say to them?

Now it’s time to pretend your children’s stuffed animals are at a party where a number of the stuffies will receive a gift.

As the parent, you will play the role of each stuffie. Using the scenarios below, have each stuffie respond incorrectly when opening their gift.Then invite your children to suggest a more grateful response, and re-play the scenario, demonstrating a more grateful response.

Scene one: A stuffie opens the gift of a banana

Take one: “Banana’s aren’t my favourite fruit. Can I trade this for an apple?”

Take two: “How nice of you to bring me a gift.”

Scene two: A stuffie opens the gift of toilet paper

Take one: “Yuck! That’s disgusting! What were you thinking when you bought me this?”

Take two: “How kind of you! I often run out of toilet paper, so this is just what I need. Thank you.”

Scene three: A stuffie opens the gift of a dirty sock

Take one: “This is the smelliest gift I’ve ever gotten! Is this some kind of joke?”

Take two: “What an interesting gift. Thank you for thinking of me.”

Scene four: A stuffie opens the gift of the chocolate bar

Take one: “Thanks. Did you forget that I’m on a diet?”

Take two: “Oh how delightful. Thank you. I really enjoy chocolate.”

Scene five: A stuffie opens the gift of the batteries

Take one: “These aren’t going to be any fun.”

Take two: “Thank you. I often need batteries for my toys and my flashlight. What a handy gift!”

Scene six: A stuffie opens the gift of the toothbrush

Take one: “I only just got a new toothbrush. Can I exchange it for something else?”

Take two: “Thank you for bringing me such a thoughtful gift. I like to keep my teeth sparkly clean.”

Key concepts

We say “thank you” to let others know that we appreciate the gifts they give us. If you are given a gift that you don’t need or want, the best thing to say is “Thank you. It was very kind of you to think of me.” This lets the person know that you appreciate the fact that they care enough about you to give you a gift. Even if you are not excited about the gift you received, it’s best to think of a reason to be grateful anyway.

Relevant Scripture

Luke 6:45 “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Colossians 3:15 “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.