Studies have shown that the giving of gifts can develop and strengthen relationships. Evidence also indicates that gift-giving helps us feel a greater sense of happiness. In fact, neurologists suggest that our brains are wired to derive pleasure from giving.
If all this is true, why then do so many grandparents find gift-giving to be such a source of frustration and contention?
The struggle is real.
Just last week, I listened as once again a grandmother friend shared her pain in feeling that her gifts for her grandchildren paled in comparison to the expensive, extravagant gifts they received from their other grandparents. Her solution? Spend more money!
But is that the answer? A quick internet search showed that the average grandparent spends about $200 per child on holiday gifts. I don’t know about you, but with eleven grandchildren that is certainly out of my reach. Trying to out-do or even keep up with those numbers would certainly put me into gift-giving debt. It would also take every bit of fun right out of something that should bring me joy!
Rather than trying to impress our grandchildren or out-spend the other grandparents by spending money we don’t have, perhaps the answer is to gain a new perspective by clarifying our focus.
Why do we give gifts to our grandchildren, anyway?
We give gifts to show our grandchildren that we love them. Gift-giving expresses our feelings and communicates value. It builds connection and deepens our relationship.
And we do this best when our gifts come from the heart not the wallet. Consider these 10 gifts that you can naturally give:
Photo Credit: ©Thinkstock/monkeybusinessimages