To all Grandparents Out There

26 12 2007

Every year at Christmas time, the task to find gifts from Santa to give to our small girls seems daunting. It always feels like the holiday hits us unprepared. Last year, I scrambled at the last minute to find some great little things they would both be able to play with together. And, with some help from my parents, they certainly didn’t feel left out of the whole traditional gift giving.

But this year, it seemed that I was more prepared (I would think after 3 years, I would take a hint), and I was able to round up the things that my girls really wanted the most. I could tell this because days before, Eliana was saying that she wanted a camera for Christmas. As luck would have it, Santa got her a pink kid digital camera. Also high on the list were a play kitchen and a wooden train set. And, of course, girls just love having dolls. Santa was nice enough to bring a slew of Dora dolls. But, what I was unprepared for was the number of gifts given by their grandparents. So, while this is a pubic forum, I am going to appeal to not just my grandparents, but to all grandparents:

Please don’t go crazy when shopping for toys for your grandkids

I don’t want to be ungrateful or sound like a grinch, but my wife and I made an agreement with Santa that we wouldn’t inundate the girls with toys on Christmas. It is our firm belief that when kids get too many toys, they will then not appreciate gifts, and leave many toys untouched. Then, a sense of entitlement will take over, and the once sweet girls become spoiled brats. And, it isn’t that we can’t give them an absurd amount of toys, but we choose not to, since as kids ourselves, my wife and I had modest gifts at Christmas. I know there were many Christmas seasons where I had all that I could have asked for and more. However, my most memorable Christmas was the one where it was only my mother and two brothers staying with my grandmother. We each got three toys each. It wasn’t extravagant, but it had a special feeling because my dad was not able to be with us at the time.

As your children, we now know the hardships you went though when we were the innocent children. All you wanted was to give us the things we wanted. However, by giving us everything we wanted, it only would have turned us into kids who would had a sense of entitlement of all things material. I’m not saying the kids don’t deserve toys, but as with anything, they are only good in moderation. That said, we, your own kids, know you worked hard for your money. Heck, they way things are, you may used credit cards and be carrying a balance to pay for this excess of toys. We want you to spend your money wisely. Spend it on a great toy for the kids (the camera, the little kitchen set). We’ll help you get the things we know they will appreciate. Heck, you can save some of that money for your retirement. Or better yet, save it for the children’s college education. At the current rate of raising tuitions, each kid will spend more on one semester of college than I did for all four (er, five) years put together. You worked a lifetime for your money, please don’t spend it on things that will become pointless in only a few short minutes.

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