smallcover 25 06 Touchstone Nov/Dec 2012 Article by Rebecca SicreeThe Recycled Goat

On the Adventures of Gift-Giving in a Large Family

It was one of our more embarrassing Christmases. It started when our daughter Isabel opened her grandmother’s gift: a beautiful doll of a newborn baby. It was exactly what she had wanted. It was also identical to the one from me that she had opened a minute before. Obviously, I had gotten my Christmas lists mixed up.

But I was thinking on my feet that morning.

“Oh look, Isabel!” I exclaimed, “Twins!”

Isabel’s puzzled look turned to a smile.

I wasn’t so lucky with Teresa, who was staring at her jewelry kit in bewilderment.

“Don’t you like it?” I asked.

“Oh, it’s not that,” she said at last. “It’s just that Marta gave this to me at my birthday party back in July. Don’t you remember? You put it away right away so that John wouldn’t eat the beads.”

“I thought you bought it for her,” my husband whispered to me.

“I thought you bought it for her,” I whispered back.

“At least,” he sighed, “we gave it to the right kid.”

I shouldn’t have been surprised that this had happened—like hobbits, we give away so many gifts in our family of twelve that we end up using a lot of recycled ones. We even have a mathom chest where we store gifts between incarnations. It’s just that we do try not to give the same thing twice to the same child.

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These Christmas adventures by Rebecca Sicree have been a regular feature in November/December issues of Touchstone for the last couple years now and they are very fun reads.

Nativity Players

On the New Adventures of the Baby Jesus

Food, Noise, Fire!

On the Bethlehem Baboon & Other Christmas Traditions