My real name is Mary but my husband dubbed me Maggie Pea, many moons ago, and I like it so use it often on sites like this.
I am a grandmother of 15 amazing grandchildren (of course) and 2 great granddaughters. When you factor in a very common scenario in today’s world; mixed families due to divorce or widowhood and remarriage; the number can become staggering. The above number of grandkids doesn’t reflect my husband’s grandkids and great grandchildren; which are more than mine! This brings up a whole issue in and of itself.
There are SO MANY things to discuss on being a grandparent; the good, the bad and the ugly. I feel in my 65 years of life I have actually acquired somewhat of a wise nature but have to distill it out in very small drops to my adult children but, thankfully, my grand kids will lap up buckets full of my wisdom in starry eyed wonder at how smart I am. Maybe that’s one reason why grandkids are so endearing to grandparents. They boost our self esteem, which has taken quite a few beatings over a lifetime “in the arena”.
Seriously, though, I would like to start my first blog on a subject that lately has been on the forefront of my “grandma-ism” and I know other grandparents have pondered this as well. With Christmas just around the corner, this is a timely place to begin this big subject which is on most grandparent’s minds, which is…how do YOU do all the gift giving with your grand kids?
Our posterity is growing (especially as grandkids start having kids) and our income is dwindling in these “retirement” years.
I think it would be interesting to see how various grandparents handle the giving of gifts to their ever-expanding network of grandchildren. For some, this may not even be an issue if you have just a few grand kids or lots of money. For some of us…it IS an issue and I would love to discuss ideas you’ve incorporated into how you give for birthdays as well as Christmas.
It dawned on me a few Christmas’ ago that it is no longer my role to play Santa. One gift per child should suffice. I was determined to start trimming down but, somehow, each Christmas found me still over-doing it.
Now, as we REALLY are into retirement and as our list of recipients expands quite rapidly…I really DO need to trim the fat.
Once again, I have over done it but I KNOW next year will be different.
SHARING SOME IDEAS:
- One hint I’ll share that is a great help for me is I shop year round. It really helps to not wait till Christmas is upon us and start buying so much all at once. I usually shop the sales year round. I have a closet with a shelf for each of my families and store Birthday and Christmas gifts here. It’s really fun to see the shelves fill up for these future dates and fun to buy something special at a great sale price! I keep birthday cards in a folder…I am also a “card freak” and if I find the perfect birthday card months prior to a loved one’s birthday, buy it and save it in their birthday month.
- I also buy tangible gifts for young grandchildren and just give the older ones a set priced gift certificate, spread out evenly across the board.
- We informed all of our adult children (the parents) last year that our income has changed and we will not be giving gifts any longer to the adults in the families, only the youngsters. I haven’t kept my word on this….I LOVE giving gifts but at least, hopefully, the teens will understand that Grandma and Grandpa are cutting down…a $10 Gift Certificate and a card are all they’re getting this year but with our combined family….this adds up. Plus the $20 Gift Certificates I give to the older, married grandkid’s families seems a fair amount for us. It might only buy a movie night out or pizza dinner; something small but I realize it truly is only a token gift to let them know we love and think about them.
Sometimes, a winter hat/scarf/glove set for an older grandchild instead of the $10 Gift works but then, if you have to mail this, that adds to the cost.
I have Christmas pretty much “wrapped up” this year; except for a few of the older kid’s and family’s Gift Certificates to buy this payday and mail in time for Christmas. What a great feeling! Now I can put on Christmas music, wrap and deliver the bought presents, bake cookies for my friends and neighbors and decorate the house (minimally, as we have a lot of outdoor projects we’re working on). At least we’re done with the gift process for another year and basically can just enjoy any festivities we choose to attend.
So…how do YOU handle your Gift Giving? I REALLY would like to hear your solutions.