The ABCs Of Gift-Giving, Particularly With Kids


Last Sunday was Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day is coming up next month, on June 17 to be exact. If there are young children in your life — be they children or grandchildren — you already know the ABCs of childhood gift-giving and are already prepared to enthusiastically accept:

• Anything. Whether it’s a rock, a shell or a painted piece of string, you are ready to embrace this gift with all you’ve got.

• Book. Handmade books are best, and any book a young child can actually read to you is tied for best.

• Candy. This will be any candy you like, as long as the child himself also likes it.

• Drawing. More impressive than the grunting, groaning effort that goes into this endeavor is the love behind it.

• Exercise mat. When given by a child, there is no need to suspect hidden hints about your weight. There are none. They just heard you needed a new exercise mat.

• Finger-painting. As much fun to make as it is to give!

• Greeting card. My favorites are the ones with uneven, hand-scrawled signatures on the back.

• Hugs. Appreciated and affordable!

• Ice cream. This is sometimes an additional gift because, let’s face it, who can pass up ice cream?

• Jump. A jump into your arms or lap is often unexpected, but one must not complain about broken glasses, bumps or scrapes, and simply soak in the enthusiasm.

• Kisses. (See hugs, above.)

• Lunch. This is one of the most popular presents you can get or give. Of course, we moms are there for the conversation. The food hardly matters at all.

• Meal. Not every child is a junior master chef, but a homemade meal by a beginner takes real effort. Eat it with a smile.

• Needlework. This category covers everything from a potholder to an elaborately embroidered family tree. If you’ve already downsized, pray it’s a potholder.

• Outing. This is what I got for Mother’s Day… an outing to a water theme park. I loved it!

• Plant. My own children know not to waste their money on this doomed gift, but it seems to work well for others.

• Quilt. You might get an actual quilt from a grown child, but I’m stretching this one to represent the fabric of our lives and the joy that children bring to it.

• Ride. This can be anything from a simple car ride along the coast to occupying a bucket in a Ferris wheel. Sit back and enjoy!

• Star. It is actually possible to have a star named in your honor. Wow!

• Tree. A tree planted in your name is as good as a star — and you can visit it.

• Umbrella. A practical gift from a practical kid. Or you live in Seattle.

• Virtual reality goggles. This is a great gift from any kid who has heard you say you just want to escape it all.

• Wishes. The best wish is the one uttered at the end of the day: “I wish you didn’t have to go home, Grandpa.”

• X-ray. A gift you can give yourself and, moms, you know what I’m talking about.

• Yacht. Well, we can dream, can’t we?

• Zzzzzz. Sleep. The very best gift of all!