Margaret and her husband, Paul, were struggling financially. Paul gave Margaret their last $40 and had warned her to spend it cautiously.
Margaret bought some groceries and a “few good bargains”, including some gold wrapping paper. After returning home, Paul became angry that Margaret had “wasted” the money.
Paul, feeling frustrated, sarcastically asked their four-year-old daughter, Tina, would you go and get that gold paper your mother wasted the money on? After some time had passed, and Tina had not yet returned with the paper, Paul went into the other room to find the youngster surrounded by gold paper with scissors in hand. In front of her were a half-wrapped shoe box and an empty tube where the wrapping paper had been. Paul scolded his daughter with angry words.
The following morning, Paul was still upset. It was his birthday. Little Tina picked up the half-wrapped package and went to her father. She handed the gift and said: “Daddy, it’s for you.” Paul took the package and shook it gently. It was light. Nothing rattled. Paul carefully opened the wrapping and looked inside; but at the discovery of the contents, his anger began to rise again.
It’s empty! You wasted the paper! Don’t you know that if you give a gift, you have to put something in the box before you wrap it? As tears began streaming down Tina’s face, she explained: “But Daddy, I did put something in the box! I blew all my kisses into it. It’s full of love just for you!”
With warmth and affection,
Rabbi Sally Olins, DD