How do we as parents handle unappreciated gifts?
I think that my parents and my sisters will recall the Christmas of Disappointment. It’s also referred to as the-Christmas-when-my-sister-wanted-a-Cabbage-Patch-doll-but-my-brother-who-couldn’t-care-less-got-one-instead-and-my-sister-bawled-her-eyes-out.
My guess is that if you’ve lived in the US for any number of years, you’ve probably encountered, parented, or even been the child who was disappointed on Christmas morning.
That is the hazard of giving gifts — and having expectations — on Christmas morning.
(I don’t personally recall a Christmas like that, but the birthday when my mom got me an autoharp instead of a Commodore 64 computer? Yeah, well, that comes close.)
It’s better to give than to receive.
It is better to give gifts that to get them in return. Disappointments happen in life. There are much worse situations than not getting what you want on Christmas.
We’re so blessed in so many ways, that it seems silly to even mention it.
But, honestly? I know this is an issue to tackle. I don’t want my kids to be disappointed when someone gives them gifts. I hope and pray that their hearts will be as thankful as their words. But, I know that that monster of disappointment will rear its head. And I want to know how to respond.
I also know that despite best intentions (mine included), the gifts are not always appropriate or needed. You don’t want to waste a perfectly good item; you don’t want to keep something that you don’t need or want. There’s a quandary there.
Saving money is worthless if we aren’t thankful for what we have. Being frugal is to make the most of one’s resources, not be a grumpy old miser about our precious stuff. One of the fringe benefits is (hopefully) to share with others.
And yet there’s that question:
What do we do with unappreciated gifts?
I honestly don’t have a lot of answers. Donating them comes to mind. I know some people regift them. Others return them to the store without any qualms. Making sure my kids write thank you notes figures prominently.
How do we express thankfulness without being saddled with an item that is unnecessary, wrong size, or simply unappreciated?
I’d love to hear what you do.
How do you tackle the topic of unappreciated gifts at your house?
How do YOU save money?
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