Valentine’s Day is the next gift-giving holiday, and so it’s on my radar. I have a ten-year-old boy to buy for, and my mother. (Being a single mom, there’s no spousal or significant other gift to worry about.)
I have always gotten my son gifts for Valentine’s Day, starting when he was just a baby. (No, I don’t think of myself as overly suckered into a commercialized holiday–the way some people think of Valentine’s Day. I just love excuses to celebrate, and to show my appreciation for friends and family, so I’m always looking to the next celebratory or gift-giving holiday.) So with Christmas and New Year’s just behind us, consideration for this year’s Valentine’s gift is hot on my mind.
For my son’s first couple of years, I picked up a stuffed doll for him, if I recall correctly. For the next couple of years, I went the way of the traditionalist and would pick up a box of chocolates. But to my surprise, my son turned out not to be the connoisseur of chocolate that I expected–and some of the chocolate always ended up getting thrown out. I decided that this was no bad thing, and that I would start giving non-food gifts in the future.
This decision didn’t go over quite as I expected, for my son asked if I could please get him some chocolates along with any other gifts. OK, sounds fair to me. A taste of yummy chocolate, but without it being the focus of the gift. Plus, if he had any extra chocolate, he could always share it with his mom….
So, my Valentine’s Day gift to my son has morphed into a box of chocolates, plus a couple of other smallish items–plus, we do something special together that day, which can be considered part of the gift. Sometimes, I give a couple of items held back from Christmas in cases where I overbought by a bit. Other times, this holiday gives me an excuse to pick up something for my son that wasn’t available until after Christmas, but maybe he had been wanting for a while.
Whatever you decide when choosing gifts for your own kids for Valentine’s Day, remember that this is a nice opportunity to get smallish, trinket-style gifts that say something about how you think about them. This kind of gift may leave a lasting impression on your youth, especially if you throw in a quick word as to why you got them that particular item.
You selection will, of course, vary greatly depending on your child, as all children as so unique. But here are a few categories of gifts you might consider:
1. A book from a series you child enjoys, along with an action figure or plush toy of the main character of the book
2. Manga (Japanese comic novel), along with a sketching set for your child to practice drawing his or her own cartoons
3. A favorite recent movie on dvd, accompanied by the book – What a great excuse to encourage reading!
4. A special lunch “out” with mom at a restaurant of your child’s choosing – A kind of a date with mom!
5. A warm gloves and hat set – what a great idea to help protect little hands from the biting February winds
6. A nice, sappy singing card. My son still recalls-and can sing the words to-a special singing card I gave him one year. I caught him on numerous occasions sneaking off to his room to listen to the card again.
7. A nice chain / necklace, in silver or gold-plated silver, that your child can wear, and think of you. (Hey, us adults don’t mind too much when we get jewelry for Valentine’s Day, so it stands to reason that the kids would like something pretty, too. Yes, even the boys!)
8. Tea at grandma’s house. If grandma doesn’t have a tea set, make sure to bring along a tea pot, cups, saucers–and tea, of course! Another nice addition would be some homemade cookies. This is a fun option because it builds some nice grandma memories, on top of memories of the holiday. Don’t worry–this will work for boys, as well as girls. After all, upper-crust society men used to drink tea all the time, in years past….
9. A music cd that kids and adults can enjoy together.
10. A special movie night – with a Valentine’s Day theme. Make sure to get a movie that the kids can both enjoy.