As Easter approaches and the chatter is underway about ‘too many eggs’ , ‘ presents would be better but don’t spend too much’ my mind flits back to the last presents season. Over Christmas presents became an almost daily occurrence over the season of celebration. As the new year began, we had our last family gathering. The boys hearts were beating fast in anticipation of (more–or was it too many!) gifts.
But the digital world has changed what a present means. Allowing for the boys freedom and right to choose, their uncles had bought them ‘vouchers’ . The older boys eyes glistened with delight.
For the younger ones it was not what they expected or wanted. For them today is the moment. They had done all the anticipating they wanted to do over one holiday period. One walked off quietly and sat on a step. No-one noticed. Chatter continued.
The over reaction
But Elliot was a whole other matter. He fell to the floor. First on his knees then with a wail he spread eagled. Arms and legs splayed out, his face to the floor he screamed the house down
No present in the present
The chatter stopped. What’s wrong Elliot? ‘No present , no present’. The visiting nieces and nephews had all received wrapped gifts. He had helped hand them out but there was nothing for him, at least as he saw it
Power of presence
Elliot had neither learnt to cover his disappointment like Kevin nor to ask his parents in private where his present was hidden. Elliot was scooped up, cuddled and a long explanation ensued – the ‘till receipt’ was his present. ‘No , no not my present’ came the response.
Duncan tried to help by building visions of a trip to the shops and choosing a new toy. Elliot was not impressed. After a while he calmed down but it was another few days until his present appeared. It’s association with his loving uncles will be lost. It became another gift from his Mum, the shopper.
Think twice before buying vouchers for toddlers.
Maybe buy a 20p gift in a charity shop, wrap it up and give it to the toddler and pass the voucher to a parent to introduce
Never accept a receipt as a ‘gift’ for an under 5 at least use shops that have gift cards and a bit of celebratory glitz with the ‘gift’