Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Sibling Gifts: The Compliment Stocking

I like the idea of sibling gifts, but sometimes they're an awful lot of work. Each time we've tried to do them, the gift-giving siblings bring the enthusiasm to the table - and I bring the effort, which makes me sort of bah-humbug on the idea of sibling gifts. But I really do want them to work, so I'm always looking for a better way. 

I've heard of families handling sibling gifts in a variety of ways: they make something for each other, they give everyone a few dollars to spend at the Dollar Store or some other inexpensive store, etc. None of these ideas has ever really suited my vision for sibling gifts. 

When I was younger, my dad worked for a drug store chain, which meant he got a discount there. My mom used to let us "buy" Christmas presents for each other there. We'd pick things out and the cashier would ring them up (bagging everything separately to maintain the element of surprise) and then my mom would pay, minus the employee discount. 

I remember it being a lot of fun. I also remember my mom and dad getting a lot of really great presents from us. Do you know what's better than a deviled egg dish? A deviled egg dish bought from a pharmacy with an employee discount!

But the skies have parted and we now have the perfect sibling gifts. Yesterday, my second grader came home with a Compliment Stocking. All of the kids in his class filled out slips of paper with compliments about each other. The compliments were both funny and illuminating. As one might expect, some of them were very generic with remarks like, "You're nice." But other compliments were very individualized and gave me great insight into the way my son is viewed by his classmates. The compliments talked about him being: "funny," "athletik" (they're in second grade, after all), "helpful" and "a good listener." 

My son beamed when he read the things his friends wrote about him and it was really delightful to get to share that with him. You could see how much effort the students put into their compliments because these were their gifts to each other. 

If you're looking for a great sibling gift, look no further than a piece of paper, some markers and heart-felt sentiment. We're going to be writing what we like about each other and putting it in the toe of everyone's Christmas stocking. I'd rather have that than an orange, wouldn't you?


  1. P.S. The deviled egg plate, one of the best gifts I ever got.