If you are trying to figure out what gift to give your child, grandchild, niece or nephew--consider gifting an experience/the gift of time.
What would get the recipient of your gift excited? Maybe it is a day spent at a wonderful museum with interactive exhibits about outer space, art, animals or construction. It may be a special meal out with mom and dad and no other siblings. Perhaps it is going on a train ride to discover a new place. Maybe it is going camping and fishing or attending a concert. How about learning a new skill like painting, using a potter's wheel, snowboarding or gardening? Maybe it a plane ticket to fly to visit you during spring break. The possibilities are endless and limited only by your imagination.
One of the experiences that I remember as a child is from my recently released book: www.coachmyrna.org/7-gifts-to-give-your-child.html
All of us fall into the habit of purchasing lots of gifts for birthdays and holidays. We do so to express our love, but often what our child really wants most is to spend time together. I remember when my parents purchased two season passes to a series of cultural events. Each month, one of my siblings or I went with one parent to experience a string quartet or hear highlights from a musical performance of H.M.S. Pinafore. It meant getting dressed up and having time alone with my mom or dad. In addition, there was the opportunity to go backstage and meet the performers, see their costumes or instruments up close, and get them to sign the program. The memories of these evenings far outlasted any toy that I received.
I want to re-share a post from a few years ago because it has an important message for all of us as parents, grandparents and even aunts, uncles and other family members. I am not the author of this post but as a teacher for over 20 years, the truth of these words are so powerful.
Dear Parents & Grandparents,
I know at this time of year the sounds, smells and decorations of Christmas are everywhere. As a parent, there is pressure to make a perfect, magical experience. You want to create lasting memories and give your children the best gifts possible. Sometimes that means a lot of stress on you to get everything done. You may wonder how you can afford to buy all that their hearts’ desires or how you will possibly have enough time to fit everything in.
I want to tell you a secret. Every January, when your children come back to school, they tell me all about the Christmas holidays. I hear about the day that everyone stayed in their pajamas and watched favorite movies. They tell me about walking together in the freezing cold to get something at McDonalds. They remember driving around looking at the best decorated houses and having hot cocoa afterwards.
I hear about the morning that you didn’t have to go to work and how everyone snuggled together in your bed. Or about the days that they stayed at Grandma’s until you came back from work. They tell me about visiting cousins that they haven’t seen for a long time and how they stayed in a hotel with a pool. Sometimes, I hear about how they visited friends on New Year’s Eve and they got to stay awake until midnight. Or how it snowed and everyone had a huge snowball fight!
Usually they mention their presents, but for them Christmas is about you and your love, time, routines and feeling safe. You are their favorite gift!
(adapted from an Instagram post)
If you have adult children who are parents, consider giving them "7 Gifts to Give Your Child--Parenting That Will Touch Their Future" as a gift this year. www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09L7KS5VH