Thursday, December 22, 2011
The Wrapping (and Unwrapping) of the Gifts
Every year, I tell myself I'll start wrapping earlier, and as usual, this year I'm up to my eyeballs in gifts that need wrapped. I'll probably spend the next couple of evenings pretty much dedicated to wrapping, wrapping, wrapping, and by the end, I'll be resorting to the dreaded gift bags. Oh, you know I wrapped your stuff last if you get a gift bag.
As I've been wrapping, I've been thinking about the grandkids' experience with unwrapping and playing with their new toys. There are a couple of things we've learned, and I want to pass along to anyone giving gifts to little ones.
1. Make sure the toy is easy to get out of the package. I love Amazon's frustration-free packaging for this, but it's not available for everything. I like to get a toy out of its package, cut loose as many of the wires and other attachments as possible, and then reposition the toy in the original package. This lets the kid see the box, which is sometimes pretty neat, and also get the toy out easily.
2. Make sure there's going to be time to play with some of these toys. This is a little harder than my first idea, because it involves scheduling. One of the things grandparents hate is to give a gift to a child and then not be able to see them enjoy it. We want to see them take the toy out, and give it a try. This idea leads to my next suggestion, which is kind of crazy, but has worked for us the past couple of years:
3. Consider having Christmas with the grandkids on some other day besides Christmas. If your kids are like ours, they've got other family members to spend time with on Christmas Day, and it's difficult to get more than a couple of hours together. Last year, we all went to Kansas City to our daughter and son-in-law's the weekend before Christmas, and spent all weekend celebrating. The very best part was our present-opening day, which involved staying in pajamas all day, making waffles, watching movies, eating Pizza Hut delivery for supper, and playing all day with the grandkids with their new toys. We're doing something similar again this year, with our Christmas occurring on New Year's Eve at our son's house, and we're planning another relaxing day of present opening and fun.
I hope your Christmas is as fun and relaxing as ours, and that you get lots of time with your grandkids! Merry Christmas!