It has come to that time of the year again and, if you are as unprepared as me, you will be hitting the shops for ideas.
Grandparents have a well-deserved reputation for spoiling their grandchildren. As a group, we spend very generously on gifts for them. Of course, we have to stay within our budgets. That can be tough when we would love to give our grandchildren just about everything they want! Often the most difficult task is deciding what gift to give. The choices available are overwhelming so here are my top tips to help with narrowing down the overwhelming selection.
Start with Mom and Dad
They probably have more day-to-day interaction with what is needed and can eliminate what is ‘fashionable’. They are likely to have great suggestions. They may have safety concerns about particular gifts or wish to give certain presents themselves. They also know what your grandkids’ current interests are. If the parents are on a tight budget, you could help them by buying gifts such as clothing or other essential items like school supplies or help with a days activity should they may not be able to take the time off work or simply cannot afford.
Suitability for the Child
Skill and age levels are important when choosing gifts that suit your grandchildren’s interests. They will probably not use a gift that is too advanced – or too simple. Grandchildren cherish gifts chosen with thought and care. Even young children have very distinct interests and desires. It is most important to match the gift to the grandchild. Some boys are just not in to football, some girls dislike fairies and butterflies. If you buy a certain gift to encourage a particular hobby or to help develop an academic or athletic skill, let your grandchild know that you have noticed their interest or ability and that you would like to share it with them. Here is an opportunity to share in their world.
Perhaps you could start a tradition that helps you to narrow your range of choices. For example, a friend’s grandmother always gave a beautiful stone egg at Easter instead of just chocolates, which were gone in 60 seconds. This made a wonderful collection when they were older. These could be books for a collection, a craft that you can do together or perhaps you are creative and can make a bedspread or a cooking course you could do together.
Children are always intrigued as to what their parents were like as children. You could pass on a special family keepsake – handing down a book or toy that belonged to your grandchildren’s parent.
Monetary gifts – Investment in their future
Some youngsters seem to have everything. The last thing they need is another toy. If this is the case find out if the parents have set up a university fund that you could contribute towards. A deposit can be made towards it each birthday and or Christmas. This gift can take pressure off the parents in planning for their education and financial security of their children when they are older.
Then all you have to do is give a small, fun gift on the day to let the child have something in their hand and then explain what you have done in contributing towards their future.
The most special gift – A Gift of You
Special time spent with grandchildren can be the most prized of gifts. All depending on the age of the child, you can plan an outing for brunch, the science museum or to see their favourite team. If you wanted to give them a gift certificate you could then go with them to the store and pick something out together.
All of these encourage time together which they will treasure.
Always remember to stay in your budget, the last thing your children/ grandchildren want to see is you struggling. Although they may really, really, really want a certain item what they actually need is you and the love you have to give.
With your talents, the sky’s the limit! Enjoy this season and the special moments it brings.