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Ask @DadandBuried: How Can I Involve My Child in Buying Gifts This Year?

Ask @DadandBuried: How Can I Involve My Child in Buying Gifts This Year?

Mike Julianelle, the Brooklyn dad behind the popular @DadandBuried, shares how to get the kids involved in buying gifts.


Mike Julianelle, the Brooklyn dad behind the popular Dad and Buried blog and social accounts, shares advice for getting your kids involved in buying holiday gifts for family.

“The holidays are here, somehow, and that means it’s gift and, more stressfully, gift-giving season. For me and my wife, that is. Our kids don’t do anything. How do I get them involved?”—Richard, Dobbs Ferry

Richard, I feel your pain. My entire fall is overloaded with holidays—my son’s birthday, my wedding anniversary, my wife’s birthday, and then Christmas.

When it comes to providing gifts for those occasions, it all falls entirely on Mom and/or Dad. When are these damn kids gonna start pulling their weight? 

To be fair, some of this is not their fault. My oldest is only 11, and it being 2021, he’s no longer allowed to keep clocking in at the factory. I checked; they literally won’t allow it. Progress is a double-edged sword! My point is, I’m not about to make my sixth-grader break open his piggy bank to buy Mommy a new set of stemless wine glasses for Christmas.

My 5-year-old has it easy. In kindergarten, they’ll schedule entire classes around having the kids make their parents gifts for certain holidays. And at that age, nothing more than some handmade trinket or scribbly card is expected—or needed. But that doesn’t last: My 11-year-old’s math teacher isn’t about to spend a week helping the kids make Mommy a macaroni necklace! So my dude ends up being a freeloader, totally relying on me and his mom to provide gifts for each other, and for his brother. 

That said, I’m totally with you: My kids need to start participating in the gift-giving process!

The solution? I think it’s simply to get the kids involved in the shopping. Have them come along with you to the mall or spend some time together browsing Amazon for stuff Mommy might like. Let them choose a couple things, and when they arrive, let them wrap them. That way, they can see the effort, and better enjoy the reaction when the gift is opened.

If you really want to get nuts, it might be time to tell them the truth about Santa. It’s cute that my kids are still innocent enough to believe that a sub-zero Kool-Aid man puts all those gifts under the tree every year, but the real world ain’t quite so magical. Mommy and Daddy bust their asses all year making sure they can afford the latest toys, and then bust their backs all Christmas Eve stealthily lugging them out of wherever to keep the magic alive.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Dad and Buried (@dadandburied)



You know what magic I want to keep alive? The magic of my kids thinking about someone besides themselves for once. That’s why I’m sending my Christmas list right to their bedroom, so they can spend a few weeks figuring out how to get their hands on that bottle of Johnny Walker Blue I’ve been dying to try.

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Mike Julianelle

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Mike Julianelle is the Brooklyn dad behind the popular blog, DadandBuried.com, and its Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts.

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