Gift giving is very much on my mind at the moment. It’s Father’s Day next weekend and our eldest turns thirteen in July. The options for gifts these days is phenomenal. It’s no longer a case of popping to the shop There are online shops, sure but it’s more than that. Nowadays people give vouchers and giftcards, kids ask for points or whatever they want for their latest digital game and I sometimes we’ve become a little disconnected from the art and joy of gift giving.
The sheer joy of unwrapping a beautifully packaged box complete with gift tag and bow has faded away as people have become more enamoured with their smartphones, laptops and tablet screens. This is not something we can say happens only with the younger generation either. Us grown-ups are just as bad. We all get a warm feeling in the pit of our bellies when we remember unwrapping our first bicycle or the teddy bear we ached for. We need to try and inject some of that joy and enthusiasm into the youth of today. It doesn’t have to mean moving away from less traditional gift giving but it won’t hurt to mix things up a bit. Take a look at how you can put the nostalgia back into gift giving.
We are an incredibly geeky family, being Dungeons and Dragons players and so on. We love our board games as not only they get you thinking, they are great for encouraging quality family time. Although they might not say it, your offspring love nothing more than spending time with their parents. Whether it’s heading outdoors for a picnic, venturing off on a holiday or simply spending some time together playing games, kids adore being with their parents. They’d never admit it but we know even our Kevin and Perry teens like us (most of the time).
For gift giving you could choose a traditional board game to prompt some quality family time or more modern alternatives. Alternatively, you could choose to explore the world of ravensburger jigsaws. These incredible puzzles are real brain teasers with some jigsaws going up to forty thousand pieces. I have to admit that I am terrible at jigsaws but perhaps a family one would be a good idea?
Experiential Gift Giving
Sometimes a physical gift just won’t cut it. That doesn’t mean you have to retreat to money or the online world yet again. Instead, look at experiential gifts. These can result in the most wonderful days that lend themselves to quality family time and memory making moments. If you have a son or daughter who adores animals, why not purchase a zookeeper experience for them. A friend of ours did this with his new wife for their honeymoon and loved it. They could end up spending the day feeding the penguins or playing with meerkats. If your children (or big kid) is a mini adrenaline junkie, you could look into go karting, a rock climbing experience or a white water rapid ride. These experiences are out of the ordinary and unusual. They are special and are the perfect way to give a bespoke gift to someone that you love.
We are those parents who don’ do birthday parties. If we did though we would sit down with the children and let them know what our budget is (not actual pounds and pence, more managing expectations) and use this to let them choose what we’d do (within reason). We might choose bowling, go swimming or venture to a park and have a birthday barbecue. I’d probably choose some fun and quirky goody bag gifts even if we didn’t opt for a traditional party.
Retro Gift Giving
The concept of all things retro and vintage is on trend at the moment. As we accelerate forwards with our technological advancements, we yearn for the more familiar, more straightforward entertainment options. We’re introducing the kids to some of our old video game consoles. A SNES with a 2D platform game like Mario or Donkey Kong could be ideal if you want to show your kids just how good you were in the arcade back in the day. Perhaps you were more into the Sega games. Sonic and Zelda could be played on the Mega Drive or the handheld Gamegear. I was overjoyed to see that the Commodore 64 was coming back. I want to see how they react to having to wait for the games to load up.
Gift Giving: In Summary
I’m definitely going to be adding the nostalgia factor into my gift giving from now on, alongside the more modern bits and pieces. This is for children and the grown-ups! What about you? What’s the best gift related memory you have from when you were younger?