The Gift That Lasts a Lifetime

Growing up we didn’t have a lot. Mummy & Daddy worked hard, but with four kids, things were always tight. We didn’t have stacks of presents under our Christmas tree.

I remember one year when I got three presents and I thought “we must be rich now”. I remember each gift I got that year. I still have two of them.

My own children’s experience has been very different from mine. The 9 year old version of me would stand in awe at the number of gifts we’ve given to our children.

Every Christmas I feel like I have Multiple Personality Disorder. One part of me feels guilty for giving my children ‘too much’, the other part of me feels so much joy in having the ability to do so. Is it just me? Or do you feel like that too?

I recently asked my 19 year old daughter if she felt she had a good childhood. I was expecting an answer that basked in the glory of all the toys and sulked about all the rules of the house. What I got was something totally unexpected.

She talked about all the fun we had. The things we did and how she has so many great family memories. Not about things. About People. Not about toys. About Experiences.

It was in that moment that my 9 year old self and my 47 year old self collided in an burst of enlightenment. Something we all know, but seldom understand. The best gift we can give is something a person can take with them wherever they go and that lasts a lifetime. Memories, experiences, living our lives together, that is the best gift ever.

In the stress of trying to find the right gift for our loved ones, let’s remember to take time to look in the mirror, because staring back is the greatest gift you can give. You. Time with you, climbing trees, walking on the beach, swimming, playing hide and seek, riding motorbikes, having a picnic… you get the idea. Let’s give our kids, regardless of their age, something they can take them wherever they go. Let’s give them great memories!

Rechelle McNair
sKids Sunnynook & Kingsway