The art of shopping is not lost on any member of my family.
I love to shop and have been given the “gift of shopping,” as I call it, many times for Christmas and birthdays (i.e. gift cards).
My husband may be the only man in America who enjoys shopping with his wife. He frequently takes our girls shopping when they need new clothes or shoes – or a new ping-pong table.
Our oldest daughter has been a shopper since Day 1. She loved picking out clothes for herself as a toddler and then for her baby sister.
Our youngest daughter is developing a patience for the long shopping outings and I have hope for her.
One of the biggest mistakes I made was advising our families to get gift cards for our oldest daughter for her birthday. Since she loves shopping so much (and additionally, refuses to tell them a couple of things she wants for her birthday), I thought it was perfect to tell them to get her gift cards to some of her favorite stores. When her birthday arrived, she got a ton of gift cards and was excited to go shopping with me.
I was too . . . until we spent an hour roaming around Target. Everything was “cute” and “cool,” but nothing jumped off the shelf at her that she absolutely had to have.
I don’t typically like to interfere with my kids’ shopping trips. This is their money, they should make the decisions. But on this particular day, I just couldn’t walk around the store any longer. I made some suggestions and helped her narrow her choices down and we got out of there with smiles on our faces.
If nothing else, this experience was a valuable lesson in decision-making. Some of these stores are just too big and have too much fun stuff for kids to make a quick decision (or any decision, for that matter).
So, when suggesting gifts to get our kids for Christmas and birthdays, I am going to narrow it down to the following:
Angela Borchert is a freelance writer who lives in Vacaville. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.