Gifting memories, not just stuff

Marisca explores alternative types of Christmas gifts that last

I have memories of getting two gifts growing up. For my sixth birthday my parents got me my first bike. It was white with pink hearts and I’ll never forget that moment of getting my first real bike and learning how to ride it with my dad.

I also remember my parents giving my sister and I the most beautiful dollhouse for Christmas one year. They spent many evenings building this gift.

It was incredibly detailed with tiny cedar shingles, a bay window and all the walls were even covered in wallpaper. It was amazing and my sister and I spent many hours playing with. In fact, my mom kept it and I hope one day that my daughters can play with it.

All of our birthdays and Christmases growing up were always joyful celebrations and full of gifts. Our Christmas trees (and our grandparents’ Christmas trees) were always surrounded by presents. There was never a lack of gifts to go around.

However, at my age now I can only remember two distinct gifts from my childhood. That’s it … two. Sorry, mom and dad.

It wasn’t that they didn’t give me stuff, they did. And I’m sure they put a lot of thought into it (or at least my mom did, my dad was always equally surprised when we opened our presents.) But for whatever reason, none of it seems to stick in my mind.

Last week’s The Sticky Files: It’s OK not to be OK

This is why I struggle with what to get my children for Christmas. I want to give them meaningful gifts they will remember. But they are so young, they likely won’t at this age.

At one point are we giving gifts or just giving stuff? Like material things. I want to make memories.

Or am I just thinking too much into it? It is so fun to open presents and watch our children rip open gifts. The joy on their faces, even if it only lasts a little while, is so worth it.

But their toy boxes (yes, plural) are overflowing. The “it” toy that we searched all over for and bought our daughter last year is already broken and probably collecting dust somewhere. While she was so excited for it last year, she has completely forgotten about it already. We gave her a moment of joy, and that was amazing but now this toy will likely sit in a landfill for a hundred years.

Read more from The Sticky Files:

Is volunteerism waning in rural B.C.?

Turning the lights off on daylight savings time

This year, my husband and I have decided to buy each of our girls one toy, one book and a pair of fun pjs. I’m also hoping to encourage relatives to get the girls memories instead of toys.

My daughter would love to get a gift certificate for her first manicure and go on a date with one of her aunts. She would also love someone to take her to the movies or even just out for lunch.

Making memories is way more important and way more special than a gift. It can also be more environmentally friendly and maybe even more economic. A promise of a spring time picnic, a day of horseback riding or an afternoon of tobogganing with hot chocolate are all great gift ideas.

I’ve also heard of people buying subscriptions as gifts. This is a great idea, there are fantastic kid magazines out now and sticker clubs and all kinds of different types of memberships.

Children love getting mail, it could be the gift that keeps on giving. Let’s not go into debt or fill our landfills this season, instead let’s make memories.


@MariscaDekkema
marisca.bakker@interior-news.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Town grants Chamber $20K

Chamber estimates up to $65K in lost revenue, turns to council for help

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

New Salt Boutique the realization of a vision for owner Caroline Marko

Marko combines the rough and the soft in a minimalist, clean airy space

Coastal GasLink pipeline work ramps up

With spring thaw ending, workers start to arrive for summer season

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

B.C.’s Central Kootenay region declares state of emergency, issues evacuation orders

The evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Most Read