We need presents!

“Anna is not my best friend any more! Never ever!” Claire was back from school, grumpy. The next morning, she refused to go to school, just because of the same reason. I didn’t take such situation seriously. It happens. Sometimes, I asked why, which made her more willing to stick to her decision. Being their judge could even worsen the situation. Children can learn how to deal with their conflicts.

Yesterday, Claire was finally happy and told me that Anna was still her best friend. I thought they were OK. But what was the magic?

“She gave me a present!” cheered Claire, showing me a simple paper for coloring. A present?! It worked again. I remember that last time they were mad of each other, Claire finally brought home a simple drawing, which ended her bad mood.

“Kids are so easy to be bought in.” exclaimed me and her daddy. We are always reluctant to use presents in order to calm down her crying or make the exchange of a peaceful day.

But this time, the very simple present made me think more.

I still believe that the two friends will continue to have conflicts, perhaps due to the same reason. However, they now can talk, thanks to such a plain paper. It was not a real present. We have plenty at home. One gave something, whatever, to the other, it’s the gesture that made them speak again. Claire would refuse to receive such easy present from me. She forgot soon the coloring paper but she repeated that Anna gave her a present.

After 9 years’ marriage, my husband and I both nearly forgot what present means, pretending that we don’t need to give anything to the other, since we share the earnings. Buy yourself what you like!

When we were first in love at college, we couldn’t pay for necklace or watch although we were dreaming to afford them later. Nevertheless, we offered presents. I took the bus for more than one hour to buy him the believed most yummy egg cake in Shanghai, although I knew that boys were not much interested in desserts. He got me Belgium chocolate that I founded too sweat. We were not romantic as other couples in university but we did love offer some small things, as if they were big and meaningful presents.

At the beginning of our marriage, we still kept the good intention. Little by little, we allowed ourselves to make realistic comments on these presents. “I don’t like the color of this dress!””That’s too expensive.””It’s just a waste!” Then, we became even lazy to think about the idea of present. For anniversaries or other festivals, we would prefer to dinner in a chic restaurant and didn’t mind who paid the bill.

Time goes by and we seem to be busier and busier. Frequently, we have quarrels, which make us affirm that we are not loved any more. Sometimes, we even cannot remember why we are so mad with each other. We can be taciturn for days and no one will take the first step to talk. No message. No hint. No effort.

Is there magic? Like the simple drawing or the common coloring paper, which made children forget all their sadness and revive their friendship?

“I made it for you!” I can easily offer the morning coffee as a present. He can just pick up some flowers while buying grocery and present them with a smile. We can do more. We still don’t need to buy necklace or luxury watch, but we need presents.

Everything can be a present. Presents can easily melt the iced communication and make us warm. Then, we can talk. Even it’s just the beginning, even we still will have conflicts.


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