I got really depressed over the weekend when I opened up my Christmas gift list from last year, and realized that most of the gifts we bought for the children and our relatives are no longer in use. Frank’s gigantic lego plane? Gone (Percy chewed up most of the small pieces). Ali’s “I HAVE to have it!” sweater with the fake-fur collar? Gone. (The washing machine ate all the fur within 24 hours). Zach’s video game system? Obsolete. (They only make games for the higher edition now.)
I bought my mother beautiful, original Santa dolls for her collection for years. Last year, she moved and got rid of most of them. Some relatives keep sending the children clothes that are about two sizes too small. Those clothes end up at Goodwill. I think it’s really sad when someone spends time and money to pick out just the right, cute outfit for the children, yet they can never use it. And, honestly…grandmothers and aunts aren’t the greatest at choosing pre-teen fashions. Some send Ali bright florals to wear (she’s a redhead and looks terrible in those) and, when she was 11, sent a purple and pink leather coat with cartoon characters on it. Would your 11-year-old be caught dead in one of those?
On pondering this problem, I’ve realized that the things I know everyone still has and enjoys are the homemade, personalized gifts we send out, the photos of the children (I give away small photo albums to the relatives each year, full of photos from the whole year), and whatever the children purchased with the gift certificates we bought them. I’ve been buying gift certificates for the children in the extended family for years because our children have so much fun using the gift certificates sent to them each year. We take them to the mall the day after Christmas and have a fun-filled day watching the children shop for themselves.
Yes, gift certificates. Thwack! (That’s my hand hitting my forehead). Why in the world have I spent years trying to pick out the “perfect gift” when they can take a fun shopping trip and buy exactly what they want for themselves? So, pondering that…everyone who I’ve not yet bought a gift for is getting a gift certificate. And, with their low weight, think of the savings on shipping!
Hugs to all!