My daughter loves to spend money – my money. When it comes to her money, she’s a real miser. This is very apparent around holiday time. When she sees ads for new and exciting gifts (read expensive), she wants me to buy them as Christmas presents for her friends and family members (including her, of course).
This year I told her she was responsible for buying all the gifts for her family and friends. She looked at me blankly. The National Bank Of Mom had unexpectedly shut down.
I did give her some money for shopping, but I told her that if she wanted to spend anything over that, she’d have to use money she’d saved up from her allowance. It was amazing to see the transformation from spender to bargain hunter. Suddenly a trip to the Dollar Store wasn’t boring, it was a great idea.
She did complain about how hard it was to stay within the budget so I told her to be creative. When I was young we made gifts for our family. (I know, I know, no kid wants to hear about what happened when their parents were growing up unless it’s really embarrassing and they can make fun of you. )
My daughter was mildly interested until I told her that one year we made closet sachets out of oranges and cloves. They were fun to make and smelled great. As I talked, the look on my daughter’s face told me that she obviously thought that my body had been taken over by aliens, very uncool aliens apparently. How could I even consider something like that?
So I suggested other gifts she could make:
No Whining Day Certificate. I know it might be easier to find a unicorn in my backyard, but I have high hopes that she can actually go a whole day without complaining.
Grandparent Fun Day Certificate. A day where she invites her grandparents to do something that they would like to do (I would even pay for this). This certificate also includes a No Whining clause, so she can’t complain when they suggest that they’d like to go to a museum. Who know, she might even enjoy it.
25 Reasons Why I Love You List. This won’t cost anything but it could be my favorite gift. It would be great to have my daughter tell me why she loves me. (Of course, she does tell me that she loves me, but sometimes she says it right before she confesses that she did something I’m going to be really mad about. ) It would also be nice to have some written proof that she loves me on the days when she’s sulky and the only people she’ll speak to are on the other end of a cell phone.
Actually I think that’s a great idea. Instead of going to the stores today, I’m going to start to write I Love You lists to give to my family members. I hope you will too. Happy Holidays!
Laura Browne is the author of a practical & fun-to-read book for women, Why Can’t You Communicate Like Me? How Smart Women Get Results At Work. To register for her Free Teleconference on How To Deal With Difficult People, go to http://www.inyourfaceink.com (This book is available at the website and at Barnes & Noble online. )
When Laura isn’t writing, she helps women be more successful through WOMEN Unlimited, a nationally recognized resource for cultivating leadership excellence, http://www.women-unlimited.com
(This article was originally printed in The Point North Magazine. )