It’s great you want to buy a child you love a gift they’ll always treasure. But the art of gift giving can be tricky, especially when there’s a child involved. You’ll need to consider her interests, age and what rules her parents have in the household. Here’s a quick rundown of what you should consider before buying the kid in your life their Christmas gifts.
Don’t Be Too Disappointed If There’s No Big Reaction at First
We’ve all seen it. A grandparent or a parent shells out big bucks for an extravagant gift for a small child. It comes in a giant box and once it is unpacked, the kid runs straight past the toy, frantic to get to the big box. Boxes offer endless possibilities for a child – they fuel their imaginations. And they can sit in them and pretend to drive. What self-respecting child doesn’t want to do that?
Eventually, all cardboard will fall apart, especially if it is being handled by an overanxious child. After a week, that cardboard will be a thing of the past and the focus will now be on the toy it once contained. So if a child doesn’t seem too interested in the gift you’ve given them, take comfort in the fact that it may end up being their favorite toy to play with in just a few short days.
Consider the Messiness Factor
Parents are always grateful someone cares enough about their child to buy them a gift. They love seeing the joy on their child’s face when they rip that package open to see what’s inside. That joy can be dampened a little, however, if the toy inside is something that will cause them a major clean-up.
That make your own marker set may have seemed like a good idea, but it might be a nightmare for a parent who has light-colored carpeting. Always try to keep in mind whether the gift you give will be putting a bigger burden on an already busy parent.
Take a Cue from her Parents
Pay attention to what parents will and won’t let their child do. If a mom is opposed to her little girl slathering on play make-up, you’d be wise to stay away from purchasing a make-up set for her.
If a parent is opposed to hunting or owning weapons, you might want to reconsider buying that BB gun for their son.
Resist the Urge to Overspend
Kids generally have short attention spans. They’re like adults sitting at work for the last 10 minutes on every Friday – their minds are racing and they’re constantly trying to figure out what they will do next.
If you buy an expensive toy for a little child, it simply might not get a lot of use. Small children aren’t going to have the mental stamina to sit down with a toy and play with it for two hours straight. They’ll likely check it out for five minutes and then move on to the next thing.
Include a gift receipt
It’s hard even for parents to keep track of what toys their children already have. Some duplications are bound to occur when multiple people buy gifts for a child.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to include a gift receipt – that way your hard-earned money doesn’t go to waste.
Shannon Serpette is a mother of two and an award-winning journalist and freelancer who lives in Illinois. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.