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Minnie and I got to go out to lunch earlier this week with some friends from my mother’s and grandmother’s generation. This post and the previous one about clutter are inspired by our conversations.

Birthday gifts for kids that already have everything

One conversation that went around was what one lady should get for her

My Kid's Sty by Bandita on Flickr.com

My Kid’s Sty by Bandita on Flickr.com

granddaughter’s eighth birthday. Every suggestion followed basically this pattern:

Suggestion: Art supplies?

Answer: No, they did that for her last birthday and the entire third floor of their house was converted into an art area for the kids.

Holy buckets. What do you even do with that? She already has everything and then some.

One woman around my mom’s age said that she just gives money. It wasn’t clear to me if she gave it to the child for spending money, or if it went straight into a savings account for the child, or some of each. That sounds like a nice, practical idea… but money just seems so generic, even if it’s given with great thought and love.

Another idea that’s popular these days is to focus on experiences instead. Maybe the lady could take her granddaughter out instead of giving her stuff? Something tells me that she isn’t really hurting for exciting excursions either, though. And I suspect her time is pretty booked with activities anyway. Still, it might be a good way to go.

The more I think about it (without knowing the child), the more I’m leaning toward my own personal answer of buying a modest, open-ended item (a basketball, a pair of knitting needles with a skein of yarn, a small set of nice colored pencils) and include a card that explains that you donated the rest of the money you would’ve spent to charity. Depending on the child’s personality and age, they might like to help pick out the charity, and they may even learn something about the importance of giving. Or they might be saddened, horrified, etc. That’s the risk of doing something weird!

What do you think? What do you get for a child who already has everything?

Multi-generational time

Hanging out with Minnie and the ladies was fun, and in a very different way from when I hang out with friends my age. I wish I had more opportunities to spend time in groups with an age range spanning more than eighty years! With all our different experiences, we all had something to add and something to learn.

I also wish I’d had the time and with-it-ness to ask the ladies what their advice is regarding my ideas and conclusions from our conversation. Would they recommend a house with less storage space? Would they be horrified at the idea of “giving” most of a child’s eighth birthday gift to charity instead?

We need to get more elderly and boomer ladies to blog! In the meantime, advice from you would be welcome!