On both sides of Cris’ family, we 1st cousins were so excited when one by one, our families began to grow. We stopped buying gifts for each other and began to buy gifts for each other’s children. Three gifts turned into five gifts. More babies. Five gifts turned into fifteen gifts. More babies. Soon thirty gifts plus, economic realities, and the older our children got, we decided to have these 2nd cousins pull names, exchange information, and shop on their own for their cousins’ gifts.
It’s been a couple of years now, and my children are old enough to be told their budget, reminded to consider the likes and dislikes of their cousins, and decide on the gifts they want us to buy.
Last night we took them shopping. KidC and KidA had a couple of ideas and strategically checked prices, tested quality, and then made their purchases. The littlest, KidI, also had something specific in mind. She had looked over the information her fourteen year old cousin had provided and knew what and where to get her gift. When I saw it though, it wasn’t age-appropriate. It was for a seven-year old girl, instead of a teenager. We eventually found something more chic and less kitschy.
I did feel a little badly though. Basically my daughter had thoughtfully selected a gift and I had shot her down. Was that the best thing to do? I was thinking of the person receiving the gift. About what I thought she would prefer. However, I was callous about the person giving the gift. The caring, attentive, and generous spirit behind the act of choosing a present was overlooked.
Tonight, as I tucked KidI into bed, I laid with her and told her how happy I was that she was so responsible to choose a gift that not only she liked, but her cousins would love too. I asked her if she enjoyed the shopping trip. She reflected and said, “Yes! That’s why shopping makes girls sooooo happy!” Uh, oh oh!