I always loved getting books for Christmas as a kid (in fact, I once got in trouble for burgling my books out from under the tree to read before the big day) but not every kid instantly embraces the concept of books as gifts. Here is a reaction that you don’t want to get; after opening a whole bunch of toys this three year old comes across a present packed with books and only books.
As you can see, little Michael is not delighted by the books. The books are, in fact, “a poo”. While it certainly seems the child is less than impressed, his parents (who shot and uploaded the video) wanted to assure viewers that he’s not a budding book-hater but just a small kid over-excited by the day.
“Keep in mind that this was kinda like his first “real” Christmas and he’s only three years old and that he could just about understand and get the concept of the whole gift getting thing. I guess he was under the perception that you only get “toys” for christmas. To him books are the fun time we spend reading every night before he goes to bed. He really does love books but I’m guessing he was overwhelmed after opening way gifts and I think he felt “tricked” when he opened the books.”
While his reaction was amusing, the family wanted to make sure that he realised that books could be great gifts the next time present season rolled around. The next year they gave him a few more books to unwrap and the reaction was definitely better this time around. “Just to make sure Michael understood that books for Christmas is perfectly OK to get, we wrapped up a few more books from Santa and waited to see how he reacted. To say I wasn’t a little nervous would be a lie but all went well and smooth!”
And, while he may have learned that books make good gifts his family also reminded viewers that the most disappointing gift you can give a small child had yet to make an appearance – clothes. “On a side note, the wife and I realized he has yet to get any clothes from Santa, like socks or a tacky sweater… we decided to not push it and wait till next year. One hurdle at a time!”
Thanks to the Writing Bar blog of the Sydney Writers’ Centre that put me on to this one.
If you want to gift books to kids this year but would like a few tips to avoiding this reaction, head over to the Kids’ Reading Guide 2010-2011 to the Perfect Present hosted on the Boomerang site (it’s in the left side-bar, just under the categories and above the annual Boomerang Books Survey).
You’ll find a thirty page guide packed with some of the best recent books for kids, including recommendations of books for toddlers, an extensive range of picture books and the top picks in for fiction for the various age groups right up until Young Adult. And it’s not just fiction you’ll find; there are Information and Stuff to Do sections with everything from gardening to art to building a robot in there.
Definitely better that a pair of socks any day. If any one is thinking of buying me socks or a jumper with an amusingly deformed reindeer on it this year please be informed that I would much rather instructions to build my own robot. That and my poor plants would probably thank you for sending on a beginner’s guide to gardening, even if that beginner is assumed to be under the age of ten.