In theory, the school holiday boutique store is a great idea. Parents give kids money to buy gifts, and they fill out a list of gift recipients and price limits. It gives kids a chance to exercise some freedom of choice. My daughter was very excited about her shopping expedition. Off the bus that day, I could see she was loaded down with bags, which she squirreled away on her closet floor - hidden under pillows for good measure.
On Friday night, readying for a gift exchange after today's church service, I asked her to retrieve the gifts she had bought. Out they came, all tucked in bright shiny bags. Then my husband pulled out the Ice Age 2 mug she'd gotten for an 8-year-old girl we drive to church every Sunday. As the picture reveals, the mug is for a grandpa. Specifically, a very cool grandpa. Which the 8-year-old girl is not. (I mean,....who knows... maybe someday). But no, ... no.
My husband and I laughed long and loud. There was some discussion of taping the "GRANDPA" over with tape, and writing the girl's name on it instead. (This would be a pretty good prank, but obviously, not for an 8-year-old). My daughter wanted to give it to her anyway, and we had to ask, "How would you feel if you got a grandpa mug?" Lessons in empathy.
This surely won't be the last time my daughter picks out an unsuitable present, although she'll become better with practice. We've all had our share of gifts (both given and received) that are misfires. And it is the thought that counts, I know. But in the meantime, anyone looking for a gift for a very cool grandpa??