It’s only human to want more for your child than you had, right? Of course. Thinking about it though, it’s kind of overwhelming to realize that my children have already surpassed me in the possessions department. It has given me a sense of comfort and also confusion. The comfort comes from knowing that I have successfully provided for them and more. The confusion comes from having kids who have everything. In previous years, when it came to gift-giving, I found myself wondering, “Well, what do we buy now?”
This holiday season, I’m trying to exercise some discipline when selecting gifts for the kids. I’ve been chanting “crafts, clothes, and experiences” since the beginning of the year. I’ve worked so hard to clear our home of excess toys. Jayden no longer plays with toys so they all end up going to Jaxon anyway. What once was a complicated task became much simpler once I stopped trying to amuse my 7-year-old with things he “should” like.
I’m sure many families can relate to the gift-giving conundrum. Gift-giving for young people is dare I say, broken. This statement may sting a little for well-meaning gift-givers but hear me out. Once upon a time, a little girl named Gabrielle, told her mom that she only wanted two things for her 9th Birthday: enough money to start an investment account and a bicycle.
Instead of getting those two goals funded, Gabrielle received: A Make Your Own Gum kit, two weaving looms, a butterfly conservatory (by the time she opened it, the butterflies were dead), and a rainbow loom to sit alongside the one that she already had. That’s when her mom, Tanya Van Court, realized that the process of gift-giving for young people was severely broken.
Tanya used that experience to transform gift-giving into goal-giving for children all around the world. With the simple philosophy that money is meant to be saved for future goals, shared with those who are less fortunate, and spent on things that make our lives meaningful, Sow began to take root.
Sow is for young people who want to change their futures and the world; babies, college students, birthday boys and girls. Simply create a profile, decide on a savings, cause, or wish to sow for and share with family and friends during holidays, birthdays, and celebrations.
We set up a Sow profile for Jayden. We sat him down and asked him what he wanted to sow for. He decided to sow for:
His teacher. He wants to help her. So the money that goes into this category can be used for useful teacher gifts and classroom supplies that she may be low on. A lot of teachers come out of pocket to offer their students extra learning tools and prizes so picking up a gift card for his teacher would be a great gesture.
A Laptop. He says he wants a laptop so that he can play Agario and Minecraft. We’re on the fence because of his reasoning. These are things that he can do on our iPad, but he is growing up and will soon be writing papers. Maybe he can have a laptop.
Art School. Jayden is all about his arts and crafts. He really wants to be an artist when he grows up, so he would like to take art lessons and go to art school. For now, he’s sowing for a summer art program.
Basketball Camp. He’s taken an interest to basketball and would like to learn how to play better. There are a few sports clinics/training he can get involved in to prepare him for joining a team.
Record your child’s answers on our printable wish list!
I absolutely love the idea of Sow. It allows kids to tap into the things and experiences that really excite them. It also helps parents like me be able to afford extracurricular activities. Instead of accepting several.more.things. to clutter our home, I can direct gift-givers to Sow to contribute to the kids’ goals.
Now that Jayden’s profile is all squared away, I will set up profiles for Jaxon and Akilah. They’re a little young to tell us what they’d like to sow for, but my friend Brittany gave me the great idea to ask for contributions towards their passports. I mean, duh, why didn’t I think of that? I’ve been budgeting for imaginary vacations in my mind and having the passports squared away would allow for more money to play with.
Whether saving for travel expenses, lessons, or a gift for someone in need, Sow gives life and purpose to the art of gift-giving long-forgotten.
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