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The greatest gift

The 4-year-old girl's face lit up when she opened a Christmas present from her aunt and saw it was a child-size purse. As she put her arm through the purse's strap and walked around the room showing it off, the little girl's mother asked, "What do you say?"

Expecting to hear, "Thank you," family members were momentarily taken aback when the child looked at her aunt and, with anticipation asked, "Is there any money in it?"

The girl's response is typical in many households where there is an abundance of "stuff and things." Some children look under the Christmas tree after they've opened many gifts and ask, "Is that all?"

Some might think the girl's response is amusing. However, expecting more amid abundance isn't cute. It will serve youngsters well if their parents teach in the early years gratitude for that which has been received and the concept of "having enough."

This is an ideal time of year to teach young children — and to remind ourselves — of the importance of gratitude.

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