Limit the Wish List
Courtesy cagle.comDo your kids write wish lists or a letter to Santa detailing what they want? I think most kids who can write do so even if they hate writing otherwise. But how do you limit what kind of things show up on the list? For once, you can actually set the limit on how many items can appear there. This year we are hoping to get to a classic Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read. Also, it really helps limit exposure of your children to advertising – both to gift catalogs and to TV with commercial breaks.
Just Say NoSometimes our children desperately want something that we are not willing to give them. For example, our 8 year daughter would love to get Nintendo DS with Animals Crossing, but we don’t think that she needs to spend her limited free time playing electronic games. We suggested that she saves for Nintendo, and she immediately lost interest in this idea. She does have access to our family laptop (in reality, it’s her laptop, but she doesn’t realize it) and to our family iPad, but she doesn’t have unlimited access and has to ask for permission. Don’t feel like Grinch for sticking to your rules regarding items that you don’t find appropriate. Also, it will help to communicate your rules to your extended family, so your children don’t ask Grandma to give them something that you don’t want them to have.
Think DifferentI look around our house and think, My daughter has EVERYTHING. She is growing in our prosperous middle class family, she is the only grandchild, the only niece, and we have several adult friends who shower her with gifts at any opportunity. No wonder that her wish lists usually include one or two specific items and then continue something like this,
- More presents
- More books
- More love
- “Get out of trouble free” card
Perhaps 1 Night Sleeping with Mama requires some explanation. We have never co-slept, and Smarty is a very happy and content independent sleeper, but she has had this wish for a while to sleep in the same bed with me. We tried it once during our travels, and I am not exactly willing to repeat the experience, since she is a somewhat restless sleeper. But, hey, this was the most precious gift she received that birthday according to her. She is yet to redeem that coupon, we are waiting for Christmas vacation to do that :)
Gifts that Leave Lasting MemoriesWhen I look back at my own childhood where I was also raised as a middle class only child in the former Soviet Union (but with vastly different options in terms of presents), I don’t remember every single gift I got (especially since space in our apartment was limited and I was mostly getting “practical” gifts of clothes and crystal glasses). I remember only those gifts that I really wanted or that were delightfully unexpected, for example, a pack of colorful markers that at the time of my childhood were still a rarity. What I remember more is the feeling of anticipation, of family togetherness, of me falling asleep in a tiny apartment of my grandparents where we usually celebrated New Year’s Eve expecting something miraculous to happen the next morning. This is the true Christmas memory that I want to leave for my daughter – not what she got, but that she was loved on that day and every day of the year.
Your TurnWhat kind of non-material gift will you be giving this Christmas?
More on Gifted Topics from My Blog
- Book Series About Gifted Children
- Game Recommendations for Brainy Kids
- Friendship 101 for Smart Kids
- Back to School for Gifted Learners
- Beyond Common Core – Math for Advanced Learners
- Gifted Advocacy for Beginners
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