Every year, I find myself banging my head against the wall when it comes to the grandparents and holiday gift shopping for my kids.
Without fail, they end up buying all of them tons of crappy toys which
usually my kids didn't ask for. And of course, they are battery operated
and don't seem to have an "off" button.
As grateful as I am that they want to spend money on my kids, I feel
terrible that these toys usually end up getting donated or tossed in the
trash. Plus, we like to play "Santa" for our own kids, which means they
end up with way too many gifts. Talk about spoiled!
So, this year, I've employed a few strategies that I think might have
actually worked. And if you've got grandparents like my kids do, I bet
they'll work for you too!
- 1. Send a list, from the kids. I've tried sending
them ideas that I've come up with on my own, but that never seems to
work for whatever reason. However, if you have the list come from the
kids, in their own handwriting if possible, this really helps them stick
- 2. Give them ideas, rather than specific items.
For my little one who really has no clue what she wants, I give them
some ideas of her specific interests. This could actually work with
older kids too if you find the grandparents really hate being limited by
a wish list. If you tell them that she's really into playing with dolls
and already has a crib and a stroller, or that he really loves
Spiderman, then you're letting them choose something on their own but
will hopefully still be appreciated and liked.
- 3. Set some parameters, nicely.
Every year, I ask my in-laws to please not send anything that takes
batteries or anything with lots of pieces, mostly because they drive us
nuts. Of course, we don't say that, but we do tell them that generally
the batteries run out and the pieces get lost and we really want them to
be able to play with the toys as much as possible.
- 4. Ask for experiences, then send photos. My
in-laws are super averse to giving gifts like a museum trip or a
membership to the zoo, however, last year after I convinced them and
took tons of photos of the kids enjoying their gift, they really
understood how great it was and were much more inclined to do it again.
- 5. Cut them some slack. When it
comes down to it, sending gifts is how my in-laws show their love for
the kids, so I've learned over the years to just let it go. Yes, I still
roll my eyes a little, but in the end, it is the season for giving.
Plus, how long do they really play with the skeeball machine and talking
caterpillar? Not very long, especially when the batteries magically
How do you deal with crazy gift giving grandparents at the holidays?
Photo via Flickr/ptc24
on Dec. 5, 2012 at 1:51 PM