The Gifts We Buy for Grandkids
By Bonnie Baker Cowan
A grandmother is not a fairy godmother and grandpa is definitely not Santa. Depending on income, gifts to grandchildren can range from small gifts from the dollar store to RESP contributions. The gift also determines who it’s important to make smile— your child or grandchild.
The truth is that in a society where excess seems rampant, especially with toys, electronics and motor vehicles, it’s getting tough for grandparents to make an impression. Whether you’re funding your grandchild’s education or simply looking for that birthday smile, there are some guidelines about gifts that grandparents agree are important.
Then there are the tangible gifts that can be nothing short of overload for the child, and most especially for the grandparents’ budget. Toys and gadgets at all age levels abound in variety with prices to match. While I still believe toddlers have as much fun with pots, lids and wooden spoons, today’s parents want the latest and greatest for their precious babes. And, as kids get older, they expect to have their own phones and IPods as well as all forms of riding vehicles, scooters and skateboards.
From the time my grandkids were babies, I derived great pleasure from shopping for clothes. It was much more fun for me than for them. Now that Jack is 12, he likes clothes, so my passion is finally rewarded. Like most grandparents, I believe it’s the parents’ responsibilities to buy the big gifts: the first two-wheeler, the dollhouse, the iPad.
Lastly, gifts from grandparents don’t have to cost the whole month’s CPP. A gift can be as simple—and old-fashioned— as a special book that was their dad’s when he was a kid or a birdhouse they can hang in the backyard and get to know their feathered friends. Older grandchildren appreciate a family heirloom you’ve been keeping just for them.