On the big day her grandmother circled up the celebrants, and gave the birthday girl a smooth stone etched with the figure of a bear. She told her granddaughter an (invented) Native American legend that wishes made for another person while holding the stone would come true.
Nan Jan folded the stone between her two hands and made a silent wish then passed it to the next person. The girl's aunt then voiced her own wish for the niece to have some exciting adventure during the coming year.
When handed to the cousin, he squeezed his eyes shut and pressed the rock in one hand while mumbling under his breath, desiring that a new friend be added to her relationships.
Grandpa hoped she'd have a fantastic time at her first week-long camp away from home. And so on around the circle until it came back to the young lady.
The bear of course was just a means to affirm a beloved child. Placed on the shelf above her bed, she'd look at the stone and remember the people that loved her and rooted for her success in every endeavor.
Like the old fashioned blessing from a patriarch, pastor or priest, the ceremony confirmed her value as part of the family, and within the wider world. It was a confidence builder.
Don't we want every child we know to receive those gifts!