Being proactive

For the past couple of years, I have become depressed at Boo’s birthday and Christmas. Which is kind of depressing in itself when you think she is only four years old! I just have never looked forward to the ‘events’ because, through no fault of their own, friends and family have given inappropriate gifts.

Oh, they haven’t meant any harm. But people buy gifts that are chronologically-aged appropriate. Not where she is developmentally. So after every event, I would be down. It got to be that I wasn’t looking forward to this year at all. Instead of wallowing (okay, I wallowed for a moment or two) I decided to be proactive.

I e-mailed any family member or friend that I knew would be giving Boo a gift. I sent a list of links and explained how the item would be useful. I included the price and a disclaimer that I knew this wish list was pricey, but since Boo’s birthday and Christmas were so close together they would only have to buy one gift. Added bonus, they could collaborate on the gift. Either through gift cards or with one another.

I was honest. For example, I explained that the trampoline was not for play (well, not really) but for muscle tone, sensory and learning to jump. That I was not looking for some one to buy ‘me’ a chair, but a better chair for Boo to reach the table. She is too “old” for a booster seat. I want her to be a part of the table. This chair will help her with stability, etc…

And it worked. For Boo’s birthday she got things she could use. Things that made a direct impact on her life. The trampoline? Within 8 days she was jumping! A year of therapy and all it took was having the tool available.

So, yes I felt incredibly guilty sending the e-mail. Like I was asking people to spend money on Boo. But in the end it worked.

What works for you? How do you get your friends and family to contribute to meaningful gifts, rather those you have to donate to another child?

8 thoughts on “Being proactive

  1. Kristi Campbell

    Hi, I have the same problems. My sister-in-law always always always asks me if my son would like (fill in the blank – this year is was those leggo sets that are hard for ME to put together that her son does love). It sucks. I admire you a lot for sending that email and like to think I'd do the same, given the chance. My family more often says “Hi I bought your son a subscription to Animal Babies!” Yay. He can maybe enjoy that in about 3 years. But thanks!

    Loved your post. Love your blog. So glad I found you via Love that Max. (can't do my identity on comments below but I'm Kristi from http://www.findingninee.com).

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  2. icansaymama

    I just tell the people who want to give my son a present, or sometimes they ask me what he needs. Most of the time it is really unproblematic!
    I really like your blog, have been reading it from time to time but this is my first time to leave a comment.

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  3. Kerri

    I know they mean well….but it is difficult not to get snarky with them and remember that we are supposed to be thankful this season. Obviously, I have trouble with that directive!

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  4. Kerri

    Well, thank you for stopping by and letting me know you are here! I have trouble with the whole asking thing, since usually what Boo needs is so expensive. That is why I lessened the guilt with the idea of co-opting birthday/Christmas/joint gifts.

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