Well, it’s that time again. Time to ask the grandkids who they are favoring this year. What have they learned about the world around them? Who or what do they feel needs their attention? Ahem, who will be the recipient of their Christmas gift?
I’ve written about this before, (click here). It has been going on for sixteen years. The youngest ones probably don’t remember when we would check their list at least twice and try to fit a stunning Christmas gift in and around the lavish gifts they were receiving from Santa, their parents, aunts and uncles, other grandparents and their world at large.
Now it’s a given. Grammy will call by early December and talk over what they want for Christmas. It’s never a conversation about a personal gift, and still it is very personal. It is up to each of them to decide where their Christmas money will go. It’s up to me to vet the charities, give them choices in certain categories if they ask for them, etc.
I was posting some kudos on Facebook: My grandson gave his money to Room to Read; Four of my grandchildren are making loans to Kiva, one had chosen his local animal shelter. Suddenly an imagine “comment” came to mind, “Yeah, like we have a choice.”
I could even attach a face to the voice…not because he is grudging; he is one of the first to come up with his plan. But because he has a really funny sense of humor and is quick to call me on any BS.
And it’s true. Their choices are limited. They decide whether to give. They decide on the recipient of their gift. They can decide to blow the whole thing off and never name a charity. And they CANNOT decide to keep the money.
In my true “gerbil mind” way of being in the world, I began mulling this over.
How is this working for me? Does the evolution of this tradition meet my original goal? Are the young people truly glad to be passing their gift on to someone else?
I had a conversation with two of the kids last year. My husband and I were considering upping the ante a bit again due to inflation, etc. But should we up the small gift amount for each of our grandchildren or should we up the charitable giving. “Oh, up our donation”, my granddaughter said quickly, “We all get plenty!”
A grandson agreed and the good deed was done.