Kids want the gift of kindness

Brenda reminds grandparents what the season is really all about, and what the little ones remember.

Brenda Mallory

I am not one myself but most of my friends are grandparents. I admire their dedication to the young children and am pleased they get so much joy from their new family members.

Here’s where the “but” comes in. Why does it have to cost so much? I found the answer just the other day as a new grandmother bemoaned the fact that the postal strike would make it difficult for her to get the bevy of gifts she had bought delivered to her new grandson. The main problem she had was that the other set of grandparents lived near the child and had more money to buy more stuff. I‘ll bet you know where I am going with this.

The competition for the child’s affection should not be geared to how much money you spend or how many gifts you give. Kind of negates the real reason for Christmas. Will the baby know you came up short in the present department? Will he remember years from now that your gifts did not cost as much?

I am thinking as I say this about friends who would knit a grand sweater for Christmas and maybe a special homemade treat. Perfect!

I did have grandparents back in the day and I’ll be darned if I remember any gifts coming my way. Mind you my grandparents worked for every penny. No pensions, no medical — worked until they dropped. Did I feel hard done-by. No! I recall a Christmas dinner at my Grandmother’s boarding house. A big table made with three sawhorses and sheets of plywood held all the good food of Christmas. There was a little gift in a Christmas cracker.

I do remember that after the Christmas Eve Church service there could be a regular sock holding a candy cane and maybe two mandarin oranges.

My other times with my grandmother occurred every Wednesday afternoon when I would go with my Dad to her house. Stories from the past and lessons for the future came my way.

I don’t like the idea that I mention Christmas so early but I worry about the stress of too many decorations, too much food, too much money spent and maybe not enough church . Of course if you are not a church person you will have to remember that this time of the year is a grand time to remember those less fortunate. There is a good chance your grandchild will be more inclined to remember your kindness to others rather than a toy or whatever it is people give these days.

I can remember Christmas with a real tree decorated with those lights that would not always work. My grandmother would let me warm up the TV so we could watch something for Christmas. I was no doubt more impressed with the lava lamp nestled between the rabbit ear antenna.

I just hope grandparents will not be stressed over this Christmas business. I have a pretty good idea that your grandchild will always remember how special you are and not how many presents you gave.

Too early for Christmas but not too early for me to be aware of the cultural shift that has happened over many years.

Your pictures of your new grandchildren tickle me but I will cloister myself on this land and wish you all well. More well wishes will come your way as the season progresses. Call about this topic at 250-846-5095 or email me at

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