As parents we can sometimes feel the need to overspend and heap gifts, gadgets and goodies onto our children. Not that we’re necessarily trying to buy their affection, but it always brings a warm, tingly sensation when their little faces light up once they’ve ripped open the wrapping paper.
How about putting that money to use on a gift that matters today, tomorrow and for generations to come? Something that can’t be broken, destroyed and tossed to the side as our heart sinks thinking of the money that’s gone down the drain.
I’m not sure about anyone else, but I noticed early on that my daughter loved the boxes more than the gifts inside. Even at 9 years of age she grabbed a pair of scissors, glue, a marker and a newly unpacked moving box and constructed a 2-door convertible sure to inspire envy in any mid-life crisis circle. Like any loving parent, I have pics for when she’s ready to start dating 🙂. It just goes to show that kids are happy regardless of how much we spend on holidays and birthdays. They haven’t yet been corrupted by the marketing gimmicks of more money spent = greater love and self-worth. The joy of being a kid means boundless creativity and smiles brought on by the little things in life, like being tucked in at night, a good story in a loved one’s arms, a soft kiss on the forehead, warm cookies and cold milk and lots of other things that don’t require your first born as a down payment.
Of course it’s fine to give gifts and we all want them to have a better life than we had, but let’s keep priorities in place. They’ll outgrow the designer clothes and shoes, gadgets will be obsolete when the upgrade comes in 6 months and toys will break. While we’d love for them to stay sweet and little for forever, today’s children are tomorrow’s adults. Seeing the big picture and properly planning ahead for their financial future is the best gift ever.