Girl School for Grownups

Like having a big sister, but better because I can't boss you around!

What parents want for Christmas

on December 11, 2014


We live in a world of excess, and I’ve been just as guilty of it as anyone. In fact, as I consider shopping for my grownup kids I’m torn between my head and my heart. My head says that staying within a budget is good and the commercialism of holidays is ridiculous (has anyone else seen the adverts that suggest a car — A CAR — as the ideal gift?). My heart? My heart wants the delight I remember from when my kids were small.

When I was in my 20s and 30s, I felt compelled to give “thing” gifts to my parents. Because I was in a stage of accumulation and building and it was hard to think outside of my own paradigm. Also I wanted to give back to the people who had given me so much.

Now that I’m on the other side of things I see that when my parents said “oh, don’t get us anything” they meant it. And I feel that way too. But just as I would have been uncomfortable with giving nothing to my parents, my kids are likely to have some of the same thoughts. So here are some gift ideas that would work for me, and might work for your parents too.

  • The gift of time. Nothing is better for me than time with my kids. Perhaps you can get a menu from a restaurant and wrap that, the gift being a lunch date. Or does anyone remember coupon books you would make for your parents when you were little? A coupon for a walk together would be delightful.
  • An addition to a collection. I collect flying pigs and kitchen utensils. If your parent collects something, find one of those if you can.
  • A little luxury they’re unlikely to get for themselves. Think hand lotion — something made locally that you use. Think really nice socks. The quality counts here, not the quantity.
  • A food they love. If your dad loves spicy, find unusual hot sauces. If your mom loves chocolate, well you know what to do!

When it comes right down to it, it’s simple. The best gift is one that says “I see you.”

One response to “What parents want for Christmas

  1. Carol Williams says:

    Good ideas. Love, Aunt Carol

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