Grandpa Santa - the Grinch!

This is a response to Peggy on Christmas Gifting - especially for grandchildren who expect a certain caliber of gift in regards to issues such as social coolness, expense and difficulty of acquisition.

<>I say, make your own rules for being a grandparent. Get them a single, classic gift. No batteries. No electronics (unless it's an electronics kit). A good piece of classic literature, handmade wooden toy, etc. Price (or lack of one) doesn't matter.

I do have to admit though, that I gave in and got two little toy keyboards for my granddaughters aged one and three. I did get them at the dollar store while I was buying supplies for the studio. They were $10 each. I don't know if I will see either of them for christmas, so I might have to mail them.

We are usually at our slowest in November and December (and brokest). It is bad for our oldest daughter, born in Dec. who always had broke parents and christmas for 6 kids looming. The other kids were all born in the spring when we could afford to be about as extravagant as we wanted. Not fair.

She got made up to often during the year, but still always had a relatively meager birthday. Her sisters, of course would box up her own stuff (stolen weeks earlier to build suspense) and give it back to her over cake in the girls family gift giving tradition. (good for any holiday)

<>Anyway, about a week before christmas things pick up and we also sell a bunch of gift certificates and that usually makes it so we actually get to have a christmas.

Now, though, Kita and I are suddenly alone. Our oldest and youngest daughters (24 & 19) moved out last week (mostly), and we are moving daily vanloads of stuff to storage and to our new apartment upstairs from work.

When our kids got older and had to actually earn some of the money they spent on gifts, they instituted a gift pool which only Mom and Dad were exempt from. That worked pretty good and they still do it now that they are all adults.
I am pushing pretty successfully for just sending cards to adult children, maybe with cash for those that need it and buying something that "feels nice" and encourages imagination for my grandchildren.

That means flexible, soft dolls with no moving parts that don't cry, eat, crap, change clothes, drive cars or need their own i-pods, bank accounts, etc.

I leave all the expensive, battery consuming crap to my kids to buy their kids like I did for them. I don't do that anymore.
So, if my grandkids think I'm weird and don't seem to appreciate a novel or a chinese puzzle as much as a game module, I really don't care.

I don't want to buy into the demands of a "gimme" generation and I guess I entertain some hope that the quality of the gift will someday at least, draw on and inspire the intellect of the receiver in an enjoyable way.

I want to be appreciated by my grandchildren for anything genuine - not money!

I used to spend $300 - $500 per kid on christmas and birthdays. I did it for years, making up for when we were dirt poor. It was just stupid. What was important was the human interaction - that is free.

<>Now, I think a gift should be a simple reminder of interest and affection. I do mean simple. It would embarrass me to receive an expensive gift now days anyway - the way things are in the world and all.

So, spend some money on yourself for a change and make your g-kids holiday memories of you be of something other than the expense and faddishness of your gifts.


PS Someday I'll have to tell you about the year I decided our family needed to fast for Thanksgiving. It wasn't that popular an idea in 1987. My kids will never forget it.

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