Monday, 19 November 2012

Paper, pens and chocolate cake

Christmas may be a few weeks away but Christmas planning - and shopping! - is already well and truly here.  This year I stumbled on the "something you want" "something you need" "something to wear" and "something to read" philosphy.  Perfect!

I am someone who always says I don't want Christmas to be just about pressies but then ends up not being able to resist buying "just one more thing".  I love choosing and buying, or making, gifts.

I asked C what she wanted as a Christmas present and she said "paper and pens".  Ok. That's one sorted.  But just giving "paper and pens" feels mean.  It's what she's asked for; it's what she wants; so WHY does it feel mean?  A friend's little boy wants Santa to bring him chocolate cake.  How many parents would actually go along with this request instead of the "top toy of the year" they had planned?

This got me thinking:  how did our society's relationship with money get so complicated?  Why is it so difficult to buy children gifts based solely on what they WANT, even if the costs vary so much?  When did monetary value become synomous with love or appreciation?  Do we subconsciously put a price on everything? 

The same time I stumbled on the "want, need, wear, read" idea I also found a blog written by a family who had tried this.  She was comparing her children's "want" requests and decided that because they varied so much in price, she didn't think sticking to them would be fair.  So child x got 2 "wants" (equal in value to child y's single "want"); which meant child y then needed another gift to even up the number...and so on.

I bet this goes on in many homes, year in - year out, in the name of "fairness".  No wonder Christmas pressie buying becomes a headache and escalates into crazy money.  Been there. Done that.  Definitely not going there again.

Variations:

want need play read
want need eat read    (I'm liking this)
want need make read

Any others to share?


1 comment:

  1. I really like the "want, need, wear, read" but with 7 grandkids and 6 adults to buy for, that's a lot of gifts!

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