What is the difference between Waverly's and her mother's reaction to the chess set?  

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When Waverly and her brothers attend a Christmas function at the First Chinese Baptist Church at the end of their alley, they each receive a random donated gift from Santa's bag. Waverly chooses a small, compact present and unwraps it to discover a twelve pack of Life Savers while her...

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When Waverly and her brothers attend a Christmas function at the First Chinese Baptist Church at the end of their alley, they each receive a random donated gift from Santa's bag. Waverly chooses a small, compact present and unwraps it to discover a twelve pack of Life Savers while her brother Vincent receives a used chess set. When Waverly and her family return home, Waverly's mother tells Vincent to throw the used chess set away. She feels insulted to receive a used item as a gift and does not want something that someone else chose to get rid of by donating it to the church. Despite her mother's negative reaction, Waverly is excited and enthralled by Vincent's gift. She cannot wait to unlock its "elaborate secrets" and takes note of how serious her brothers react to the used chess set. Waverly is aware that the older chess players at the park are respected and even offers her Life Safers as replacements for missing pieces. Overall, Waverly cherishes Vincent's used chess set while her mother believes that it should be thrown in the trash.

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At first, Mrs. Jong displays gratitude for the donation of a chess set to Vincent at the church Christmas party. She says that the chess set "cost too much"—a polite, formal way of saying that it's a very generous gift. Yet once she gets home, Mrs. Jong reveals her true feelings about the chess set. If the woman who donated the chess set didn't want to have it, then why should she? She instructs Vincent to throw it out. The donation of the chess set has clearly offended Mrs. Jong's pride.

Waverly, however, is curious about the chess set, although her brothers refuse to let her play. But Waverly persists, begging Vincent and Winston to let her join in this exciting new game. Eventually, they give in, but only because she offers to use two of the Life Savers she got for Christmas in place of the missing chess pieces. The winner of each game will get to eat the Life Savers.

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