A Generation of Ungrateful Parents

A new home comes with new schools and consequently a new PTO. At a recent meeting, this new PTO discussed the upcoming Holiday Mart.

Do you remember Holiday Marts from when you were young? I totally do! My elementary school would put out all the trinkets - necklaces, mugs, note pads, pens, little plaques, and toys. I remember walking past the tables, making notes about what items I'd like to buy for my mom and siblings. Then returning with my envelope of money, showing my math to my teacher for how my budget would work. The thrill of excitement when I took my wrapped gifts home and placed them under the tree. How awesome it was when Christmas morning arrived and I truly had surprise presents for each member of my family.

My mom cherished those gifts. She wore the fake gem necklace and earrings occasionally, but even when she wasn't wearing them, I knew exactly where she kept them in her favorite jewelry box with her other favorite jewelry. I distinctly remember the World's Greatest Mom key chain I gave her, with a drawing of a woman wearing a crown in the center. It was always on her key chain, with her everywhere she went.

When my mom passed away, I inherited these precious items. No, they didn't cost a lot of money, but yes, they are precious. Why? Because of my mom's attitude. She was grateful for my gifts, for the time I took to consider what special item I would give to her - but most simply, because it was from her daughter.

So imagine my surprise when this new PTO expresses their very poor views about hosting a Holiday Mart for the kids. Oh, for sure they want all the vendors to come for THEM. The fun crafty booths, make-up and jewelry stuff, and yummy smelly candle stuff. Oh yes, all of that, they want. But a section for the kids? To buy what they called 'a bunch of junk'? No way! Instead, let's entertain the kids with mani-pedis and coloring pages while the parents shop. The principal even said she's received letters from students who said they wouldn't go to the Holiday Mart because it was a bunch of crappy junk.

Ungrateful parents whose terrible attitudes are raising ungrateful children.

Do these parents not see the value in their children learning budgeting skills? Or building their self-esteem when they surprise mom or dad with a gift they chose all on their own? Of learning to be independent?

No, apparently these children hear their parents calling the gifts 'junk' and a 'waste of money'. Shame on the parents who don't find joy from these precious opportunities and gifts from their children.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The worth of a gift comes from the receiver appreciating the giver's love and desire to give. It's not equal to the number on the price tag.

My cupboards are full of Queen Mom and Dad's the Best mugs. I have lots of glowy pens and multi-functioning tools with Awesome Dad emblazoned on the side. On my kids' beds are the stuffed animals they've purchased for each other.

Where did these fun items come from? Why, yes, our previous school's Holiday Mart. One day, those mugs will be passed down to my kids as gifts when they have their own children. Do you think they'll appreciate that Mom and Dad gave them such meaningful gifts? Or do you think they'll be looking for the price tag?

I'm confident the only thing running through their minds will be the memory of Mom and Dad unwrapping the gift one long-ago Christmas morning.

Would you like to comment?

Unknown said...

I love our homemade gifts from the girls at Christmas. They have always made or found and re-wrapped items for their brothers, father and myself. We all enjoy opening up our gifts at birthdays and Christmas as you just never know. Our family favorite was when my youngest had wrapped up a big box. We opened it and found on the outside a note saying "it does not really fly" and on the inside we found NOTHING! We teased her all day that it must have flown away! Later she found the homemade kite that was supposed to be in the box, which still hangs in my bedroom! I love the little things!!

Danyelle Ferguson said...

I love your Christmas stories, Katie! Thank you for sharing them.