Present giving has changed....
When you don’t have young ones to buy for, Christmas giving takes on a totally new meaning. I remember buying such sweet things for my boys - to wear, to read and for me to reminisce with - in fact you could safely say that my Christmas gifts in those early years were really all about me!
How that has changed. I was truly horrified the first time they took a birthday gift of money to a party - until several parties later you realise this is the most convenient of presents for all concerned and such a release from the burden of present finding.
Since the teen years, the boys have a totally different approach. I am horrified they go to a birthday party and not take a present - please tell me it isn’t a covert bottle of vodka?! And it’s clear other mothers have thought the same and provided chocolates as a token gift which, I hear, get eaten on the way to the party!
The only present I can insist on is for the host parents - if an overnight stay is involved. How the neglected birthday boy or girl feels when the parents are rewarded with a brightly coloured but very reasonably priced Reg&Bob collar - I have no idea! But it is a stylish gift (if they have the obligatory dog, of course) and certainly beats something fattening.
Now all they want for Christmas is money, money, oh and a new pair of trainers - the price of which is truly horrifying. And other present giving? I don’t know about your families but we seem to have simplified things to such an extent our presents are more a token than anything major. But everyone enjoys having something to open - something thoughtful, useful, perhaps extravagant - all at the same time! So it really is worth a little forward thinking.
The majority of my present giving now, is thank-you presents - whether for teachers, supper parties or for a weekend stay. And as we’ve all been told not take wine to a dinner party what better present than a ……….yes you've guessed it!