The expectation that when someone gives your kids something- when they were not asked to do so- you must pretend to be grateful, and then let it collect dust until it finally finds its way onto a donation pile or scrap heap is complete nonsense. And I object. So I’ve created a sample season’s greetings but no thank you letter for you all!
The narrative of forced gratitude for something that is actively inconvenient and wasteful is especially infuriating, to me, when the offending item was purchased for my child without considering my child as a person with preferences and feelings. (My kids are capable of talking, why doesn’t the person call them up and ask them “Hey what kinda stuff do you like?”)
Extra infuriating when it’s gigantic and noisy.
Can we please start changing the narrative that relatives and family friends need to give flashy toys to demonstrate a relationship? It’s really messed up, inconvenient, wasteful, and desperately harmful to our environment.
Before you say “well some people can only afford crappy plastic toys and they deserve to enjoy the gift giving time of the year” YES, they do, but can they ask first? Can they ask what the kid actually likes instead of deciding ‘that’s a boy-child and I’m gonna buy them a great big gun thing.’ Can they maybe get a ten dollar bill, go to the convenience store, have it broken into nickels, and give the kid a giant bag of coins? (My brother in law did that one year, and it was such a huge hit with my kid, and it cost him less than ten bucks.) Can they perhaps just buy some nice books, write a nice message in them, and sit down and read to the child? It’s not hard to make space for books, if they’re good books they get enjoyed way longer than a crappy plastic toy, and its an opportunity to build a relationship.
So here is a list of 5 love filled Grandparent Books I recommend Grandparents buy instead of getting random crap in the clearance section at Walmart.
TIME FOR BED, OLD HOUSE Janet Costa Bates, A.G. Ford @candlewickpress a boy’s first sleep over with his Grandpa, and it’s time to say goodnight to every part of the house.
CARLA AND THE CHRISTMAS CORNBREAD Carla Hall and Cherise Harris @simonkids a beautiful nostalgic story, with a delightful array of foods, and family traditions.
THE ELECTRIC SLIDE AND KAI Kelly J. Baptist and Darnell Johnson @leeandlowbooks One boy practices his dance moves in anticipation of finally seeing his grandpa again. A joyful happy family story.
THE WHOLE WORLD INSIDE NAN’S SOUP Hunter Liguore and Vikki Zhang Absolutely beautiful, would be nice to include your own recipe to pass down when writing a dedication into the end papers.
WE’LL BE TOGETHER AGAIN Lucy Menzies and Maddy Vian @quartokids this one is unusual, it flips open like two doors, and shows the little girl waiting to be reunited with the grandfather, who is on the otherside.
THE LONGER THE WAIT THE BIGGER THE HUG Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar @faberchildrens the third book in this charming classic series about love and affection.
These books were all submitted by the publishers for the #bookstagang _bestof2021 which is currently being judged!