My mom offered all kinds of advice when she was alive. When I was younger I didn’t listen to much of it, but as I grew older I found her wisdom to be most precious. On one of those occasions she told me to never give my children more than two presents for Christmas–a toy and some clothes. “Keep Christmas simple,” she said, “and you won’t overspend.”
I’ve kept to that formula for years and yet, between grandparents and other family members, my children always have more than two presents under the tree. Since I can’t seem to stop the inevitable, I do set a limit for my children spending money on each other–no more than $20.
This year, my daughter lamented that buying for her younger brother was impossible. “Every video game he wants cost more than $20.”
“Then don’t buy him a video game.” I hate them anyways, so I never see a reason to buy one.
“Then what should I get him?”
Wandering through the store, we found ourselves in the kitchen appliance aisle. My gaze fell on the many toasters being displayed and I smiled. “Why not get him a toaster?”
I’m not a big toast fan. In fact, I hate dried bread so owning a toaster had never been a priority for me, but my youngest son would come home from the farm all the time saying how much he loved that grandma gave him toast at breakfast.
“You’re right,” my daughter said, laughing. “That’s the perfect gift for him.”
I was pretty confident his sister’s gift would go over well, but his exuberant reaction still blew me away on Christmas morning.
“I’m just gonna try this, then I’ll be back.” He ran upstairs with the toaster, ripping it out of its packing as he went.
I guess denying him toast at home for the past thirteen years of his life really was a painful thing to endure. 😉