February 26, 2018

Teaching About Giving and Sacrifice

My husband and I have the same birthday.  Before kids, our special day was always celebrated not with presents, but with shared experiences.  We’d get massages, go to the movies, sometimes we’d eat every meal in a restaurant.  4 kids later, I still love that we share that special bond, but the celebrations have changed.

Yesterday when our birthday rolled around again, much to our kids’ fascination and still somewhat confusion (my now 7-year-old son asked me a few years ago if his Dad and I are twins), I had to paraphrase a tale that seemed fitting, O. Henry’s short story “The Gift of the Magi.

The story  is basically about loving someone so much you put his or her needs ahead of your own.  In the young story a poor, young couple seeks to find their partner’s perfect Christmas gift.  Not having enough money to buy what each would like- beautiful combs for the wife’s brilliant hair and a distinguished chain for the husband’s pocket watch, each gives up a prized possession to pay for those things. She sells her hair to pay for the chain, and he sells his watch to pay for her combs. Here is a link to the story

So the night before our birthday, I asked my husband what he’d like to do for our birthday this year, knowing we wouldn’t be able to have a carefree day as we used to do, but thinking he’d at least be able to go to lunch with me and our 3-year-old.  “I have calls and meetings all day,” he said.

I woke up to find that my husband had made me a beautiful breakfast, baking scones and bringing me coffee in bed, all before his busy day of calls and meetings, on his birthday.

This was an immediate lesson to my kids right then and there why I married their Dad and what sacrificing for another person truly means.

teaching about giving and sacrifice


  1. Ann Van De Water says:

    Aww. What a sweet husband. Happy Birthday to you two!
    The Gift of the Magi is one of my favorite short stories.

  2. Caroline Taylor says:

    What a great guy….Happy birthday to both of you! It’s great your boys are noticing the nice things their dad does for you, so they can grow to be amazing husbands!!

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