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It's Different When It's Your Own Money

Our family first went to see FROZEN over Thanksgiving break, and we’ve been huge fans ever since. Such big fans, in fact, that for the first time EVER we paid to see a movie a second time IN A FIRST-RUN THEATRE, over Christmas break. The girls have matching FROZEN shirts that say “Sisters Forever”; we’ve bought (and memorized) the soundtrack; and we’ve downloaded all the karaoke tracks so the girls can do their own performances.

We’re FROZEN fans.

So when the girls got gift cards to Target for Christmas, I wasn’t surprised that Cora wanted to spend hers on the FROZEN dolls. As we walked through the store a couple days before New Year’s eve, Cora was tense with anticipation to hunt down and find the sisters.

And then disaster struck.

Apparently, Elsa was the BIG hit this Christmas and there were not more Elsa dolls. Anywhere. We called ALL over the metroplex and got nothing. Zip. Nada. We finally found a Christophe doll at Toys R Us, and I offered to buy Cora’s Target card from her so she’d have the cash for Christophe. A couple harried hours later, Cora had an Anna and Christophe doll.

She played happily with them the rest of the day, but kept mentioning that she REALLY wanted Elsa to complete it. Finally I told Cora she was welcome to look online with me for Elsa, but she’d have to spend her saved-up allowance to get it.


Well, of course we found Elsa on Amazon, and Cora went and got her piggy bank and contemplatively counted out her dollars and coins. She had enough to buy Elsa, with four dollars left over. But did she want to?

Cora thought on it for the rest of the evening; she’s never spent her allowance before and really didn’t want to give up “all” her money.

But on the other hand – it’s ELSA.

Finally Cora agreed and counted her crumpled dollars into my hand, and a few clicks later on a Sunday night Cora was ecstatically waiting for Elsa to show up. Two days, honey, I told Cora. Two days. But with it being Sunday, it’d actually be THREE days.

Wednesday, baby, I promise.

Well, Wednesday rolled around and Cora could barely contain herself. “When will the UPS man come?” she demanded that morning.

“The website says the doll is on the truck, and will be delivered some time before 8 p.m.,” I told Cora, and as I watched her face about to crumple into tears when she heard it might be after her bedtime, I hastened to add, “but usually the UPS truck comes around 4 p.m.”

Cora thought. Hard. “How long is that from now?” she asked.

“About an hour,” I answered.

“Set a timer,” she demanded.

So a timer was set, and Cora stared periodically out the front window, then back to the timer, her brow darkening every time she saw the numbers counting down. I trembled for the poor UPS guy when he showed up.

And alas, the timer went off with no sign of our friendly guy in the brown shorts. “He’s not HERE!” Cora said frantically.

“Honey, it’s just an estimate. He may have a lot of extra stuff on his truck to deliver! Baby, you can’t stare out of the window the rest of the day!” I cajoled.

“Set the timer for ten more minutes,” she said grimly.

And so my girl walked around with a timer around her neck for almost an hour, checking out the window every ten minutes, shaking her head dejectedly and walking away.

Until she spotted him turning onto our street.

“He’s here! He’s here! May I open the door?” she screamed. Cora practically ran to the truck before it had even stopped, and as he drove away she clutched the box to her chest and yelled, “Thank you! Thank you, UPS man! I’m so appreciative of what you do!”

Two minutes later, Cora had her doll out of the box and ready to play. As Cora examined the doll’s delicate dress and long white braid, she breathed, “She’s worth every bit of my money.”

I guarantee you Cora loves this doll more, feels more protective of her than she otherwise would have, because she spent her own money on it. And that? Is a lesson she’ll never forget.


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