Gifts and Presents
There is a very real risk of crazy price escalation if parents begin to indulge in lavish presents. This is clearly a dangerous precedent, guaranteed to make other parents feel inadequate, guilty, or competitive.
So grasp the bull by the horns, and stop the lunacy by following these simple rules:
- Don't go mad when buying presents for your children's friends. Institute an upper price limit and stick to it.
- For younger children (under 10) go to the trouble of actually buying, and wrapping, a present. They are still at the age when much of the thrill is in the anticipation and the unwrapping.
- A crumpled fiver thrust into a birthday card envelope doesn't cut the mustard. It is perfectly obvious that it is a last-minute gesture and that choosing and buying a present simply has not been seen as an important priority.
- Make sure that your child doesn't go to his/her friend's party empty-handed. Promises of presents tomorrow just aren't good enough.
- If your child doesn't open the presents in front of his/her friends (and give appropriate thanks) then you really should make a record of who gave what, and ensure that your child writes a thank you note.
- Given that there may be a large number of thank yous it is acceptable to buy pre-printed thank you cards, which your child just fills in, but it is important to properly acknowledge the presents.