My siblings and I stopped gifting years ago. Sometimes, if the occasion arises and that perfect gift jumps out at us – we do birthdays, but it’s usually just a card or a phone call. Thankfully, we are all past that age where material items are more important than virtual contact.
With five children, twelve grandchildren, four siblings, and a multitude of nieces, nephews, and their offspring, our family has grown to heights unimaginable. Tweaking my list years ago reduced my gift giving to the grandchildren and unmarried childless children in my immediate family. Andrew – age 26 – is the lone survivor of that last class, but this year taught me that next year – if he’s still unmarried and childless – he will get a check that he can spend wherever, and if he’s good, some trinkets from Santa in his stocking. He says he doesn’t believe, but Santa returns each year, regardless. He will make a believer out of him yet!
After years of trying to find that “perfect gift” for an array of one to twenty-something-year-olds, my appetite for giving and receiving gifts has been curbed. Swallowed in a sea of wrapping paper and ribbons, they didn’t know who gave what to them or where it was twenty minutes later.
The last thing any of my grandchildren need are more toys and all their parents agree that no matter how adorable or well-loved they are, stuffed animals are blacklisted. My remedy to this dilemma is gift cards – except for Pierson – he’s only one so he got books. Last year they received Big Kahuna tickets – a great water park near us – and when they visited for the summer we all had a blast!
The oldest two boys -ages 22 and almost 16 – usually receive cash cards because that’s what makes them happy and happy faces are what’s important!
This year was the year of movie tickets. Movie cards to their favorite cinemas was just the ticket – pun intended! 🙂
I think Mary Poppins was the #1 choice of most. Our plan was to go see it when Andrew was home because it had been a favorite of his when he was little. He breezed in on the 24th and out again on the 26th. Tired from being on the road for most of the month of December, I let him off the hook. Anyway, I was mentally exhausted from worrying about him on those long trips in holiday traffic. It didn’t matter to H one bit that we didn’t go. He was just along for the ride and happy relaxing after a full day of eating a Christmas smorgasbord. (I’ll make him take me this week.)
I’m patting myself on the back because I’ve remembered all the grandchildren’s birthdays this year! I’ll admit, some of that cash was late in the mail but I made up for it by sending the December birthdays early. I can now take a breather until February.
Now I need a new idea for next years group gifts. Any ideas?