Did you even know that today, the Sunday after Labor Day, is Grandparents Day? I confess that even though I have six children and until recently, they had two pair of married-forever grandparents, I never have done much to celebrate this day. Maybe bought a few cards over the years or gone for a visit to their house. I’m extremely thrifty, remember those six children?, so I’m pretty terrible at sending or giving cards and gifts for any but the most important occasions. Actually I’m pretty bad at celebrating all special occasions.
I used to LOVE shopping for gifts for people, but then I had the depressing realization that sometimes people( not necessarily grandparents) did not want the gifts, or they worried about me spending too much, and it just made them uncomfortable. They often just wanted to spend time together without the pressure of gifts. Is it just me or do very few people actually enjoy getting surprises? Unless it’s something you specifically asked for, and then it’s not really a surprise unless they are good at picking up on clues and keeping secrets. Once, my son shocked me with a Garmin running watch for Mother’s Day. THAT was the best gift I had received in a very long time! Then a few years later, he bought me a nicer one. Yes, I really love that kid. 😉 But, HE is very hard to buy for. He is very picky and likes to buy his own stuff, expensive stuff, and he is very uncomfortable expressing emotions, so accepting gifts is tough for him.
Once you get past a certain age, you either prefer to buy your own stuff, or you really hate clutter from things you don’t or can’t use, such as clothes that aren’t your style or size, or collectible items you really don’t need more of . Considering grandparents have usually been around for awhile, most of them have the stuff they want and need and have very specific taste. When we have given them presents, I’ve tried to make it something useful or consumable or, occasionally, a homemade item. The one gift that they used for many years and seemed to get so much enjoyment out of was a bread machine, back in the early 1990s when everyone was baking bread. After that we could always expect a fresh loaf of bread when they came to visit.
Christmas shopping has really become a burden to me. Not only do I have a very limited budget, my children are all past the toy stage and into the electronics, computers and cars stage. I just can’t afford to buy them the stuff they would really enjoy. In the past few years , I’ve really struggled with what to buy them. Last year I decided it would be a fun idea to take my two youngest on their first plane trip and go visit my sister in Utah during the winter time where they could experience their first real snow. I kept it a secret until Christmas and then did the big reveal. It wasn’t as well received as I’d hoped. We ended up having a good trip, lots of snowy fun , no regrets, but I don’t think they would have said yes if I’d asked them first. I’m seriously considering one big family gift for this year, probably a new TV. Based on the annual Black Friday deals, I’m not the only one who has this idea.
As for Grandparents Day, my mom is the only grandparent still living, and she went to her favorite city, Las Vegas, with friends this weekend. I sent her a text to tell her good luck and that we love her. She is an amazing grandmother and my kids love her very much. Of course, she spoils them, which is totally appropriate for a grandma to do. She actually got up early before she went to the airport so she could make cupcakes for my son’s birthday and sent them via my sister. My mom has been there for me with each newborn and has babysat and loved each of my children. She has supported me through many parenting trials and difficulties , financially and emotionally, and has even taken care of my disabled daughter . I wish I could afford to pamper her in her golden years. I hope and pray that she gets very lucky in Vegas because she deserves it!
I hope you had a good weekend. Are you blessed with children and therefore have grandparents to celebrate? What gifts do you like to give them? Does gift-buying give you pleasure or stress?