This Sunday I opened up the paper to see the 'catologs' of toys from the big stores. Boy did that bring back memories. As a child, the Sears and Montgomery Ward catologs were treasured this time of year. We would sit an look through every page and then make our 'wish list'. Of course our parents loved it too, for they would have some extra leverage for us to 'be good'. It was also easy for them to know what it was that was so desired from Santa. I remember circling the different dolls, the Easy Bake Oven, games etc.
Of course I looked through those flyers, to see what is the new stuff now that I am a grandparent. ( You want to be hip with the kids- know the lingo) To my surprise, there were many toys that were similar to my younger days. Toy kitchens, doll houses, train sets, dolls, and games. Of course there were the zippy toys too, cars that run, cartoon characters, video games.
Gift giving can be a challenge. You want to give your grandchildren things they want, but don't go against the parents wishes. My favorite gift this year was an electric guitar. It made allllll kinds of noise, sounds and yes even music. My 2 1/2 old just loves it. Now I know the parents weren't too thrilled, so we play with it when I am there. The other issue with gift giving is the quanity of presents. The holidays bring so many things to our children, that a present is just tossed aside as they move to the next, for there is so much. One thing my husband and I do, is to get one fun gift, a book and maybe a piece of clothing ( that mom and dad wanted). We then give the parents a card with the money amount that went into the child's college fund. My husband's parent gave the children savings bonds for them to use when they got to be 18. Our children were so thankful for this cushion that helped fund school, went towards a new car and when college was finished, paid for extras on a graduation trip.
The best gift we can give our grand children is building memories. Sure it is fun seeing them open presents, but that lasts just for the moment. Here I believe, less is best. Start a college fund with the money you would have spent, then plan an outing/ activity to build those memories. They will last a lot longer.