You know what just kills me every year? All of those people who are willing to wait in line for hours (or days) to buy the newest, just-released, must-have gadget-of-the-moment.
And the people who are willing to fight in the aisles on Black Friday over the toys that their kids are demanding for Christmas.
I remember my sister (I’ll let you make your own guess as to which sister) making her gift list one year. She started it around June, I think, and it was a large booklet by the time she was finished. I’m pretty sure she included everything she could possibly think of, including toilet paper and toothpaste.
You know, just to be on the safe side. ;)
I remember poring over the Sears toy guide every year with my siblings. Amazing the suddenly essential items you could discover in those pages that you never before realized that you needed.
They know human nature too well.
Here are a few observations I’ve made about kids and gifts, both from my own experience and from watching my children.
Kids are greedy. So are adults…we just hide it better (sometimes). That’s why they rip through a gift and barely glance at it before tearing into the next one. It takes a lot of diligent practice and preparation to teach kids to slow down and be grateful for what’s given to them.
To children, the bigger the gift is, the more excitement it generates.
There’s not really a logic to this. I remember all of us clustered around the Christmas tree, gazing at a ginormous gift with rapt adoration, even though the dimensions clearly suggested that it wasn’t what we were hoping for. Sheer size mattered for some reason. If it was big, it had to be good, right?
In the end though, no matter what that gift ended up being, the box usually got more use than the gift it held. Little children LOVE boxes. Jeremy’s often said that he thinks we should just wrap empty boxes and give those as gifts to littles. ;)
Whenever kids do receive those highly-sought-after things they just couldn’t live without…they usually end up collecting dust. They’re only fun while they’re popular and they’re only popular for a minute.
Jeremy and I were both raised to not expect the expensive, fad-of-the-moment gifts, and taught to be truly grateful for anything we received.
It worked for our parents, and that’s the approach we are taking with our kids.
And at least until they reach the teenage years…we’ll just wrap everything in a big box and everyone will be happy. ;)