I am a grandmother who must try to find holiday gifts that pre-teen and teenage grandchildren would find exciting (actually, merely acceptable), not to mention gifts for adult children, too. That is why I hate this time of year. When my children and grandchildren were young, a fun toy would work. Now that they are older, they have their own very particular tastes. Help! How can I know what they all like when they live in three different states? In this article, I will give you examples of my successes and failures in my quest for the perfect gift.
Grandson Who Is 10 Years Old
This grandchild is always a challenge. He likes books, and video games like Minecraft, but even though we live in the same town, I don’t know which of these he already has. One year, I thought my gift was inspired. I got him a laser game where he could shoot light images on the wall. He played with it once.
My best gift was last Christmas when I gave him a trip to Alaska in which I participated. I arranged for him to be active, doing different things every day. He loved salmon fishing, especially because he caught two salmon that we were able to ship to the lower 48. He also had such fun playing with dogs of all ages raised by the winner of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. He didn’t much care for kayaking to the glacier, which, by the way, terrified me. The guides warned us that if we fell into the lake, we would freeze within seconds!
Granddaughter Who Is 12 Years Old
This granddaughter likes books about Greek mythology, girl heroes, and vampires. She also is a devoted participant in Minecraft with her friends as well as a fanatic Swiftee. On top of that, she is very original and wants to be a CEO when she grows up and plays only with boys. I had almost given up on her until I realized she liked to sleep late. I got her blackout curtains to match the blue paint in her room and convinced my tolerant son-in-law to install the rod for the curtains. However, my daughter’s present won the day. She took her to a nearby city to stay in her favorite hotel, go to tea, buy a new outfit, and eat what appeared to me to be the world’s largest steak at her favorite restaurant.
Granddaughter Who Is 14 Years Old
This granddaughter is my biggest challenge and so far, my biggest failure. Like most girls her age, she likes clothes, but only a certain kind of clothes. She also likes dance, volleyball, basketball, and swimming. A girl for all seasons. Unfortunately, none of those sports inspire gift ideas. I gave her a very expensive necklace for her birthday, but although she was very polite, it wasn’t even close to a hit. I have given up for Christmas and offered her a choice of three things: (1) a trip to New York; (2) something for her room in her new home; and (3) the lamest gift of all, money.
Grandson Who Is 14 Years Old
This grandson is the easiest to make happy. He and I talk every week about history, politics, news, and money. He is a great fan of Warren Buffet, Uncle Scrooge, and money management. He earns money every week by doing chores, including cleaning two bathrooms! Recently, he and I have had very intense (not angry, just very serious) conversations about ousting Speaker McCarthy, financing Israel and Ukraine, gerrymandering, and the configuration of business class on United and Qatar. He always helps me find the most efficient flights with the most comfortable accommodations. He has only one wish for his birthday and Christmas—an airline ticket to see me. His parents, who are doing a great job of working with him om money management, insist that the ticket must be a present for a recognized holiday. In case you haven’t guessed by now, the trip I gave to my precious grandson is actually a Christmas present to me. That one definitely scored high on the excitement scale! And, an interesting discovery—my participation seems to boost the excitement factor for both my grandchildren and I.