Grandpa looks for the right holiday presents
Guest post by Kenneth Weene
Send a Check or gift card?
As a distant grandparent I have to ship those holiday gifts. I really don’t want to spend all that money on the post office or UPS. After all, when was the last time a kid checked the postage and said, “Wow, Grandpa really loves me, he spent twenty bucks mailing this box.” What to do?
The easy solution is sending a check and trusting your kid to choose the best present. Easy sure, but does it make you closer? Imagine Christmas morning and little Timmy calls up to thank you for the great Scooter you bought him, and you ask him, “What color is it, Timmy?” Is your grandchild really so stupid that he can’t figure it out – you never bought it. Not only does he now have to cope with no Santa, but he is also facing no real grandma.
This is not to suggest sending a check for things the kid wants and needs is a bad idea, but do it on the up and up. Everyone will appreciate that – everyone that is but you; you still want to send those grandkids something from you. Another popular idea, a gift card. My grandkids love Target, so I send them Target gift cards. Of course they are old enough to go shopping with Mom or Dad and pick out what they want, However it still isn’t the same thing, is it?
Another idea crosses your mind, on-line shopping. Computer savvy, you can do it all without leaving your desk. One problem, do you really want to be that uninvolved? Sure it will work, the presents will come from you – sort of, they will appear magically under the tree (as long as the kids don’t notice the stream of UPS boxes). But will you feel the personal connection? I never do; and believe me I do lots of online gifting.
You mail out that check and that gift card, you see the charges from PayPal, and you still feel emptiness, Santa has not found his way into your soul. The menorah is not lighting your smile. That’s the point when I start casting about. What to send? What to send?
My answer, a large supply of little presents I pick up throughout the year. Wherever I go, whenever I see something that strikes me as relevant to one of the kid’s interests, I buy it. For example, the youngest loves magic. I see a cute trick that’s appropriate for his age. Buy it and put it away for one of the present times in the year. What are those times? Christmas certainly. Each of the three birthdays (a present for each of the others, two or three for the birthday child), and the beginning of summer when Mom is ready to pull her hair. Little treasures bought with the long term in mind, things that can be shipped at low cost – got to love those priority mail boxes, especially since the oldest grandchild is seriously into rocks, which do add to the weight of the package.
Let Mom and Dad get those big things, let the kid do some fun shopping at Target, Toys-R-Us, GameStop, or The Gap. Come the morning, the gifts are unwrapped, Grandma and Grandpa will have sent something small but great, something wonder-filled. Why? Because you spent the year treasure hunting.
Our guest blogger:
Besides being a devoted grandfather of three, Kenneth Weene is a teacher, psychologist and pastoral counselor by education. He is a writer by passion.
Ken’s short stories and poetry have appeared in numerous publications including Sol Spirits, Palo Verde Pages, Vox Poetica Clutching at Straws, The Word Place, Legendary, Sex and Murder Magazine, The New Flesh Magazine, The Santa Fe Literary Review, Daily Flashes of Erotica Quarterly, Bewildering Stories, A Word With You Press, Mirror Dance, and The Aurorean. Ken’s novels, Widow’s Walk and Memoirs From the Asylum are published by All Things That Matter Press. ATTMP will soon be bringing out Tales From the Dew Drop Inne: Because there’s one in every town.
To learn more about Ken’s writing visit: http://www.authorkenweene.com