Underwear Again? Gifts They Want vs. Gifts They Get!

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We are Jewish.  Eight crazy nights of Chanukah.  When I was growing up, my parents bought us a gift for each night.  Wasn’t a huge gift, but we got to unwrap something every night.  Then on the last night of Chanukah, there was the biggie….  My mom is a great shopper and always knew just the right things to get.  OK.  Fast forward to the next geneartion and I thought, I can do this.  Three boys and I will do the same.  Little presents each night and the big bang at the end of the holiday.

But while my kids were growing up, you had to go to the mall to make purchases.  On line shopping was not available yet.  Anything on line didn’t exist.  I was working, hated shopping, and struggled every year on finding the right collection of “non-gifts”.  So here was my typical…

Night One:  underwear and socks.  Each boy got a different brand, different color and I then had to label them so they wouldn’t get confused in the wash.

Night Two:  coupons to get out of chores.  But of course, it was wrapped in a big box.

Night Three:  t-shirt for a favorite sports team.  My kids were yawning and I’m sure you are too.

Night Four:  the hat to go with the t-shirt.  Zzzzzzz

Night Five:  Another coupon for their favorite meal whenever they wanted it.

Night Six:  Another coupon – but this one had a different twist.  It was $25 that they could donate to the charity of their choice.  And of course, I would make them sit with me, look at the options, come up with a reason why they wanted this particular charity and then we would make the donation.

Night Seven:  A gift that came in a box — game boy, nintendo, basketball, football, or whatever that year’s passion was for each of them.

Night Eight:  Duffle bags to let them know that they were going to and back to sleep away camp.

So as the years went on, my boys teased me mercilessly.  We can always count on you mom.  We know you hate to shop and we suffer for it.  And they are right.  You couldn’t shop on Amazon back then.  I guess their holiday would have been filled with more “stuff” had I allowed my fingers to do the shopping.  By default, I taught them that material things were not important, they were never deprived of great opportunities, learned to give as well….

What are their expectaions today?  Their annual replenishment of new underwear and socks.  Happy Chanukah!!

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