Saturday, October 29, 2016

Making Gift Giving Meaningful

Can you believe that November 1st is only a few days away? And you know what that means, right? The holiday shopping season is about to hit us in the face. Just today, I opened an email from a major electronics store and it was talking all about Black Friday deals. Ugh. To be clear, I don't think there's anything wrong with buying gifts. It's the pressure to get good deals that leaves a sour taste in my mouth because it takes the focus away from the very act of gift giving. The commercialism surrounding the holidays now almost ruins what true gift giving is all about.  

I said almost. Because there is something really special about getting together with familia y amigos and giving those loved ones gifts that have meaning. I hate the idea of just going down a list of people and getting them whatever gifts just so I can check them off. Where's the sincerity in that? So before you get anything to just check someone off your to-do list, I want to encourage you to take a moment to model thoughtful giving for your children, family, and community. Give them a gift that will last. One that shows that you thought carefully about them.

Last month, I took my children to Spain to meet my family. It was the first time my son had traveled outside of this country. More importantly, it was the first time that he had a chance to meet my dad, his abuelo. That trip is one that both of my children will carry with them for the rest of their lives. That time spent with family was extra special and a gift they will have forever in their hearts and memories.

The point is that experiences create the memories that bond us. You don't have to spend thousands of dollars taking your family on a far away trip. You can make magic happen close to home by taking loved ones on a local adventure, a music show, committing to an exercise routine together, or honing cooking skills together. Or even just setting up time for a special day with just the two of you. This can be inexpensive for your pocketbook and rich in meaning.

Of course, if you follow MommyMaestra, then you know that education is also a gift that lasts a lifetime. For the nenes in your life, ditch the electronics and meaningless toys. How about a set of blocks that get their creative juices flowing, science experiments they can do with friends, or Peter and the Wolf, the Nutcracker, and other classical pieces you loved as a child?

Handmade gifts are another way to express love and infuse them with meaning. Poems, artwork, crochet/knit, even baked goods are wonderful ways to show the recipient how much you care about them because all of them require TIME. You are investing in that relationship because it is important to you. So if your child has a special talent, now actually would be a good time to think about gift giving if said gift was handmade, required some time to make, and was from the heart.

Whatever their passion as a young learner, stoke those coals. Your gift to them will not only last a lifetime, but help them become thoughtful, considerate adults who positively influence their community!


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