Friday, November 21, 2008

Holiday Bite #14 Tis more blessed to give than to receive

Do you have kids? Do you get a little crazy this time of year dealing with all the "wish lists" and begging for more stuff from them? I am blessed with four children and still have one or two that are still sure that the world revolves around them. Princess still feels that every store she walks into has something that I must buy for her .....right now. You'd think that after almost 6 years of life around here she would have gotten the message, but she is still learning. My oldest two are pretty good this time of year at having their radar out for gift ideas to give each other and for the rest of the family. We went to a little mall near our house tonight and both boys were thrilled to pick up gifts for their siblings for just a teeny bit of cash.
The mall was having a "toy rastrillo" where they had tables set up and people could come and bring their used toys to sell or trade with others. The kids spent a little bit of time gathering up some things to bring and we arrived with a large Ikea bag and the box from my new microwave full of stuff. We are very cheap on our prices so the boys had a good crowd of kids around their table. The event was not really well advertised so the crowd was small but by the end of the night they had cleared out most of the things on their table and had netted about 6 euros. I didn't fare quite as well with the stuff on my table (the things Princess and son #3 gathered up) but did sell some Discovery Toy puzzles for 6 euros and a couple of little beany teddy bears for a euro. The boys were able to go to some of the other tables and buy (for almost nothing) some presents for Christmas presents. One was even able to trade for a present for his sister so no cash was involved in the deal and both parties ended up happy.
Today's Holiday bite is to help your children get thinking about who they want to exchange gifts with and what they can do to plan and purchase or make gifts for others. Even at a young age they can color a picture or help you make a special treat for someone. My son used to help me make candy cane bark to give to his father as a gift. (break candy canes into small pieces, melt white chocolate in double boiler, add candy cane and spread on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper to cool. Break into small pieces and store in an airtight container). Do they really want to give something that will cost money? Why not have them "earn" some money by helping you around the house with some age appropriate jobs instead of just giving them the money to purchase their gifts? You were going to shell out the money anyways (at least if you are like me) so why not get something out of the deal yourself and let them take "ownership" of the whole process?
Don't have children? Get working on your own gift giving list then. Can you pick up one or two gifts today, or order them online? Get busy .... and don't wait till the last minute to wrap these. But that is another bite for another day, I think.