About 100 years ago, when we were kids, the first week back to school after the holidays definitely contained “What d’cha get?” conversations. Back then, holiday gifts seemed a little more special because aside from your birthday, it was really the only time you got anything – other than maybe back-to-school shoes. “Electronics” meant a toy that required batteries. Gift Cards hadn’t been invented. Much like today, sometimes kids were thrilled, and sometimes they were disappointed. Much like today, your parents hoped you wouldn’t be too transparent in your disappointment with underwhelming gifts from extended family members, lest you appear spoiled.
Don’t worry, we aren’t going to bore folks with a Monty-Python-esque blog about how much tougher things were when we were kids (although we truly did walk to school in lots of bad weather, not wearing Gore-tex or goose down). What we are going to do is ask parents to ask themselves the following questions:
- Were you able to figure out what your kids would really use and appreciate when deciding what to get them last year?
- Did you have good and honest answers to the question “What would Sarah like?” when your parents or siblings asked you?
- When the young people in your life asked for an item that lay outside of your budget, were you able to suggest alternative ways they might be able to get what they really wanted? For example, by politely and thoughtfully asking extended family members to collectively fund one more meaningful gift versus individually purchasing smaller, less meaningful ones.