This is your mother. The holidays are quickly approaching. Time to coordinate our calendars. I’m learning so much through The Mahogany Workplace about the millennial men and women in my life. In my desire to stay relevant in this world, it may be good for us to have a little talk about the holidays.
Your honest thoughts — without fear of crushing a longstanding ideal about holidays and gift-giving — are appreciated. We’re all adults here. And I wonder if it’s time to rethink old-fashioned notions of gift giving and celebrating with one another.
You’re no longer a child. Your toy catalog looks different these days. And I’m at the point in life where there is very little left on my list — problematic for both sides.
Mother Teresa once said, “It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” Giving is the most beautiful expression of love. We all have our own ideas of what giving and gifting looks like as love. How we receive gifts also speaks to our language of love.
(If you haven’t read The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, I highly suggest it. It is a great tool on loving well when you understand how someone is wired to give and receive.) Okay, I’m off track here.
Your generation has an opportunity to take all that makes you strong, independent, tech-savvy, rather self-indulgent individuals and share your life in a way that’s a special gift to your parents.
Here are a few suggestions that utilize your skills and perspective. Gift us with something we would never justify for ourselves, like sunglasses that cost more than $10. Try something a little frivolous and extravagant, like a wine fridge or car-wash booklet. What about something extra nice to replace that “old thing,” like high-quality luggage. Help us navigate one of your trendy restaurants. Applebee’s is getting old!
Another newer option on the gift-giving scene: a subscription box. There are so many to choose from and we probably wouldn’t subscribe to one ourselves. Try a monthly coffee delivery from Generous Coffee or a meal delivery service. Dad might appreciate a men’s razor club; mom might love a subscription to a wine club.
Encourage us in a new hobby. You could get dad a vintage record player and a couple albums from the ’70s. Or have mom try bird-watching with new binoculars and a guidebook. Try tickets to a Broadway production or annual passes to a museum or zoo. Your parents might love tickets to a sporting event.
Treat your parents to some tech support. Sit with mom and help her clean up her cell phone and iPad. Share a new app with dad — maybe a cool golf app for distance. Millennials underestimate less physical gifts, like donating to a charity in your parents’ name (Tell us which one you choose!) or simply spending some extended time with your mom or dad.
Millennials, you are light years ahead of us when we were your age. You are doing and experiencing things we dream about for retirement. We don’t always understand your choices, but we admire your adventurous spirits.
It’s no secret you face pressures and challenges that we never knew. Come visit. Sit awhile and let’s talk. Let us in for a few minutes. Tell us your stories and struggles and ask what’s new with us. This isn’t expensive, but it’s priceless.
Love you, Mom
What are your thoughts on gift giving as a millennial? What would a great gift be for you?
By Amy Higgins