Saturday, November 12, 2011

'Tis the season to be jolly...

Birthdays, play dates, holidays oh my...

Many of you may be feeling the pressure to buy gifts for other children and wonder if you should go for the popular games of the season, or think of something more original.  Here are my tips for gift giving...

  • Originality can be lovely.  If the child is young enough and doesn't really recognize the toys being given, give a small amount to charity in his/her name.  The family will appreciate it, you would be helping a much bigger cause, and that little child will grow-up knowing he has already contributed in a big way!
  • Buying the popular gift of the season means it is very likely this child already has it.  If you must, then do provide the receipt so that the parents can return it and buy something else.  If you are on the other side and find yourself with 3 similar gifts, it is OK to re-gift! Just make sure you put a note on who gave you the gift to avoid re-gifting the same person (Culturally I understand the hesitation, but everyone knows the price of popular toys, give the gift receipt and smile).
  • When possible, involve your own child in buying his friend the gift.  It allows them to practice generosity and understand sharing.
  • Do not buy live pets as a gift! no matter how cute! (Unless clearly asked or discussed with the recipient family).
  • Experience-based gifts are wonderful and so much fun!  Use a creative way to let the child and his parents know that his gift is.  An examples of experience base gifts include family boweling night, ice-cream day for 5 friends, tickets to a show, etc.  This is something different and ensures that you return the nice invitation with an invitation (Two birds, one stone).
  • For very young kids, it is ok to get a gift for the parents or the home, with a small symbol for the child.
  • Educational toys, DVDs,  and books are excellent.  Yes the child may not be jumping up and down when receiving it, but the parents would certainly appreciate it.
  • Be weary of any allergies, rules and/or limitations the families have.  You can ask the family directly, otherwise it is always best to err on the side of safety.  Avoid giving sweets, toys/games that are violent and culturally/religiously bound toys.
  • Be sensitive to the families' economic situation.  Do not buy expensive gifts if the recipient family would not be able to return something in a similar amount.

Do you have any tips of your own? Do share them with us!

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