A Savvy Uncle’s Holiday Gift Giving
I've got a total of six nieces and nephews. When the first few appeared on the scene, I was quite attentive. I'd buy gifts at regular intervals and spend a lot of money. As more nieces and nephews were born, I tried to keep pace and be thoughtful. But time (and the economy) conspired to temper my buying habits.
With six faces on the scene now, there aren't enough hours in the day to find the one perfect gift for each child. So, I've come up with a system that allows me to find some great gifts and remain a great and attentive uncle. To that end, here's my checklist for gift giving.
1. Make a list of your nieces and nephews. Sounds silly, but once you're knee-deep in the aisles of Target or Sports Authority, you'll need to keep track of who enjoys what games or pastimes. List out their names, their ages, the sports they play, and the leisure activities they enjoy.
2. List out the last two adventures you had with each niece or nephew. If you took Charlie to a ball game, write it down. If you took Libby to the zoo, write it down. This will help you choose gifts that really mean something to your loved ones.
3. Find out and write down what is on their wish lists. Often, their parents (your siblings) will share with you some of the gifts they don't plan to purchase. This is a grand opportunity to choose a gift the child is already excited about.
4. Take your time shopping. You can also be the perfect uncle if you offer to take each child—separately—on a shopping trip. You'll get to spend some quality time with them, AND you'll see first-hand what they want.
5. Finally, and most important from an uncling perspective, be there when your loved ones open your gift. This reinforces how much you love them and will also keep you at the top of the “favored-uncle” list.
Happy shopping! And happy holidays!
Published: December 11, 2012