I thought of that email this morning as I got another email from a family member asking what Henry would like for his upcoming birthday. There are a few reasons I hate this question. We have so much stuff already, I find it difficult to ask for more to be brought into the house. I also don't want my children to feel entitled to a big list of gifts for every holiday that rolls around. On the other hand, though, I do want my kids to feel special for their birthdays. So what's a mother to do?
First of all, our family has been very good about gifting experiences. We have a membership to the local children's museum that was a Christmas gift last year. The kids have also had special camps paid for and other activities as well. They love these types of gifts and the memories from them will last forever (especially if I blog about them!)
Secondly, there comes a point when I really enjoy thinking of gifts for my kids. It gives me a chance to sit down and really think about their likes and personalities. I feel this fun communion with them when I do this. For example, Frances loves reading. I love tracking the growth in her reading skills and choices over time through the different books I may request for her each year.
Henry has a real interest in drawing. His after-school teacher has a book of doodles with drawing and writing prompts for the kids. Henry loves finishing the pictures and writing about them. It's such a fun glimpse into his personality. He also loves science and nature and any gift geared toward those disciplines.
Benjamin is just coming in to his own self. As a baby, it seemed easier to pick out gifts that would make him happy. Now as he is growing, I can see how much he idolizes his big brother in the types of things he likes to play with. I imagine the next year, with starting Kindergarten and learning to read, will be big opportunities for him to learn more about himself and form his own likes and desires.
Birthdays are such special times in a kid's life. Watching my kids grow makes me so happy. Seeing glimpses of the people they are becoming brings such joy. I don't want my kids to expect overflowing gifts each year, but I do want to help the people in their lives understand them and pick out a personal gift that will bring joy to both the giver and the receiver.
I should also mention that one of my love languages is giving and receiving gifts. Finding the perfect gift for someone is my way of expressing love. And if I can't afford to give every gift I think of, why not pass out the ideas! Then more people can share in the happiness!
This post was part of the One Word Blog Linkup hosted by, Janine of Confessions of a Mommyholic, Marica of Blogitudes, and Lisa of The Golden Spoons! This week, the word prompt choices were Happy and Time. If you would like to join the linkup you can find more information HERE, sign up for weekly emails HERE, and/or join the Facebook group HERE. Every Friday, two prompts are emailed. Choose one and write a post using that word as inspiration. Linkup up any time between 6:00am EST on Wednesday-9:00pm EST on Thursdays on any of the host sites.