It is more blessed to give than to receive.
A group of children put that Bible passage to practice when they were faced with a difficult choice this holiday season of picking a present for themselves or giving their loved ones a sought-after item.
Video of a social experiment entitled "The Other Christmas Gift," conducted by Rob Bliss Creative for UPtv, showed that when given the choice, kids from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta overwhelmingly put aside their own wants to give their parents presents.
“Mom wants a ring… she’s never really had a ring,” one child said.
Eighty-three percent of children in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta “come from low-income families, some of which aren’t able to afford even a Christmas tree,” the video notes.
But material goods pale in comparison to the happiness of family, the children filmed said.
“Because Legos don’t matter,” said one boy who picked a present for his mother rather than take home a new set of building blocks for himself.
“Your family matters. Not Legos, not toys, your family. So it’s either family or Legos and I choose family,” he said.
Roughly 80 percent of the kids who participated in the experiment chose to give gifts to their family, creator Rob Bliss told INSIDE EDITION.
“I feel like people think the biggest focus kids have regarding Christmas is getting gifts,” he said. “I had a feeling that if you were to put that to the test, you’d be proven wrong. That they valued the aspect of family more than the aspect of getting gifts.”
After selecting presents for their families, the children were surprised to learn that they too would be getting a gift.
“I’m feeling really happy and thankful,” one little girl said as she began to cry.
“All kids went home with both gifts no matter what they picked, including the 20 percent of kids that picked the gift for themselves,” Bliss said.
The video has drawn mixed reviews, with some viewers remarking that it manipulated underprivileged children for the sake of a manufactured response.
Bliss disagreed with that assessment, saying that the strong majority of children chose the family gift in an experiment that took three days to complete, including one day to conduct the interviews, another day to buy the presents and a third day to offer the choice.
“So nothing was faked, scripted, kids pressured into a decision, paid to say something, etc. everything these kids did was of their own choosing entirely,” Bliss told IE via email.
“If nothing is forced/scripted/fake, and the question/proposal isn't mean spirited, then I don't see how this video could be considered manipulative,” he continued.
“Don't we all, kids included, have to make these decisions? Kids often face their own tough dilemmas about either behaving selfishly or perhaps giving something up for a sibling/friend.
"Every parent has to make the same exact decision seen in this video, something for themselves (versus) something for their child. We simply reversed the same exact question parents face and captured what happened next.”