Birthdays! Don't your children simply love them? If child's friend has turned a year older, it is an opportunity for your child to give birthday bumps and his birthday card or gift. He can also exercise his vocal chords by singing 'Happy birthday' at the top of his voice, hog the last few pieces of cake, and delightfully collect his return gift from the hosts.
If it is your child's birthday, it is his turn to unwrap his presents with shining eyes. He can revel in the admiring glances that his newly bought outfit or toy set invites, and have the first piece of the birthday cake! Indeed, nothing can compare with the untainted joy on a child's face as he opens his presents on a birthday.
However, it is you, the parent, who is the brain behind the gifts that bring so much cheer. You have a million things to consider when it comes to your child. Should you consider utility and gift bags, pencil boxes, or clothes? Or should you gift educative items like G.K. books, mini telescopes, or IQ sets? Should you gift popular toys like dolls and cars or should you go off the beaten track with modelling clay and Rubik cubes?
Gifting Your Child
Children can make unreasonable demands at times. You may have to strike a balance between pleasing your child and keeping the gift within limits. Also, you may be torn between letting the gift be a surprise and asking your child outright what he wants. As a parent, you will have a fair idea of what's in your little one's mind.
Has he been turning a longing eye towards cars displayed in shops in recent times? You have your answer. Other favourites with kids include mini keyboards, cricket sets and bicycles or tricycles.
However, you may wish to inculcate a new hobby in your child by gifting him modelling clay or an embroidery kit. In that case, you may not meet with instant approval. Nevertheless, your child will eventually come to appreciate the gift. It is preferable that the entire family gift jointly but if there is an older sibling who wants the pleasure of gifting independently, let him. Do not entertain tantrums or ultimatums with regard to gifts. If your child looks displeased with a gift, chide him gently by explaining that it is the sentiment that matters.
You may allow your child to decide what he wants to gift his friends. Gifts are a wonderful way of demonstrating to your children the importance and joy of giving. Let choosing the gift be a fun experience for your child. Let him browse through the shelves, goggle at all the bright colours and pick out the items that fascinate him. You can make the final decision with more practical things in mind! The basic aspects to consider are the cost of the gift, the age of the child to be gifted, and their preferences. If it is someone your child knows well, the latter should not be a problem. Be thoughtful and creative with your gift. You need not go for the usual chocolates or toys. Does he enjoy doodling and sketching? Gift him with a colouring book, a sketching manual or a set of water colours. If gifting a cake, try something different: some children might be delighted with a cartoon-shaped or balloon-shaped cake.
When you are the host
Are you wondering, "Where is the question of gifting when I am throwing the party?" The birthday boy or girl always gets lots of gifts. But kids will be kids. You may have observed your child's friends peeking at the pile of gifts at his birthday celebration. Imagine the delight on the faces of your child's friends as they suddenly find an unexpected present in their hands. This way, no child feels left out, and everybody goes home happy.
Since children have a tendency to compare, all guests are gifted the same item. In addition, it is also more convenient. The size of your guest list comes into play here. If it is a small group, you may distribute similar presents to everyone. Goody bags containing an appealing mix of candies, stickers and a pencil box are a good option. The presents will depend on your budget and inexpensive options such as fluorescent masks, small plastic toys, and simple game sets are easily available. Do not worry yourself too much about the choice of the gifts because the basic idea is to have your guests leave smiling.
If however, you are planning to have over children from diverse age groups, sexes, and backgrounds, uniform gifting may pose a problem. We are usually schooled to believe that girls prefer dolls while boys prefer cars. However, you may be quite surprised to find that a lot of girls enjoy playing with building blocks. Try gifting gender-neutral gifts such as chess sets or comic books. You are free to set the trend after all! Reading as a habit has declined among children today. Perhaps you can rectify this to some extent by presenting all the kids with a storybook. Remember, there is really nothing that will please everybody.
Let the gifts remain a surprise till the end. Present them just before the kids leave and do not forget to give them a hug as well. As someone has once remarked, "A hug is the perfect gift, one size fits all and nobody minds if you exchange it."
Gifts are indeed fun, whether you are the giver or the recipient! Either way, the idea is to enjoy!