Love: The Cheapest & Greatest Gift
When Rob and I were poor, I became adept at giving people presents that didn’t cost very much money. As I have written, we weren’t the most financially savvy couple, so when it came to special occasions, things got tricky. This doesn’t mean that I didn’t take the gifting process seriously, in fact, I gave it a lot of effort and love. However, money isn’t always abundant, especially when you’re young, so you’ve gotta be crafty.
On Rob’s 35th birthday, my craftiness was put to the test. His favorite song has always been “Amazing Grace”, and I had a friend who was a concert violinist. She came to our house and played the timeless tune with the utmost professionalism and it sounded like angels singing. It didn’t cost a penny, but his reaction was priceless to us both. He has told me many times that this was the greatest birthday gift he had ever received. It felt just as good giving it as well.
Unfortunately, with today’s materialistic society, little gifts like this no longer cut it. They need to be bigger, flashier, and more expensive. I’m not sure when we started believing that we need to spend a ton of money on a present for it to mean as much. If we don’t throw our kids a themed birthday party with all the bells, whistles and party bags; they’re shunned at school and considered poor! When did we start monetizing happiness? It’s discouraging to see that we lost the creative ways we once relied on.
It is up to us as parents to teach our children the importance of money, as well as it’s insignificance. It’s not a bad thing to be honest about your finances. It takes bravery to say that you have made some irresponsible choices with money, regardless of how embarrassing it may be. If you’re lucky, you just might keep them from making the same mistakes you have. In the end, this might just be one of the greatest (and cheapest!) gifts they’ll ever get.
For Christmas last year, I glued glow-in-the-dark stars on our bedroom ceiling because Kate has never witnessed the beauty of a shooting star. In return, Kate wrote little songs for me, replacing popular lyrics with reasons why she loved me, and performed them. These adorable songs are the kinds of gifts that mean more than anything money could buy. Write a poem, draw a picture, sing a song - do something for your loved ones that is from your heart, not your wallet. Love is not money, it is knowing what means the most to you and cherishing it with all you’ve got - and the greatest thing about it? Love is completely free.
How many of you have talked about money with your children, and how did you do it? Tell me about it in the comment section below. Thanks for reading, I hope everyone had a great and safe weekend. Let’s talk again on Wednesday, I’ll bring the coffee. -R.