I was around seven years old and it was almost Christmas. Where was I? Bawling my eyes out. Wait, I have a good reason! 🙂 As we all know, usually seven year olds are not very rich. I wasn’t either. After crying for a little bit, I went to find my mother. “I don’t have enough money to buy everyone a Christmas gift!” I sobbed.
After calming me down, my mom set to explaining that it was fine if I didn’t give everyone a store-bought gift. I could instead make them a card. “But I don’t really like cards,” I protested, because I didn’t when I was that age. Honestly, what is the fun of a colored, decorated piece of paper? After my prodding to come up with something better, my mom gave me another idea. This is when the coupon giving began.
Yes! My little mind wrapped around the idea with happiness immediately! Why had I never thought of this before? My younger siblings also latched on and for several years after that, the coupon giving got a little out of hand. All everyone gave each other were coupons.
Of course, the gifts varied ranging from “Help with a chore” to “I will play a game with you,” but still, we all had one too many coupons. In fact, me and my brother would even cancel them out because we had so many. For instance, if I had given him a “help with a chore” coupon for his birthday two years ago and he had given me a “help with a chore” coupon for Christmas three years before, we would just hand them to each other and pretend we never even had them. We didn’t mind, we both got out of helping one another. 😛
I would still like to share the coupon idea with you because it provided a way for us younger kids to give each other gifts without spending money. Instead we were spending time and effort. In fact, I still sometimes give out coupons to this day. My younger brother got one for an ice cream on his birthday.
The coupon way will work as long as you monitor it. If you have 7 kids and they all give everyone else 3 coupons, you now have 126 coupons floating around. A little way too much. You can easily put a limit on it by telling everyone only one coupon per person or only allowing them to give out so many coupons total. You can also add expiration dates to them. Usually, in our family, the coupon is good for only a year starting at the time it was given. This limits the giant stashes of coupons. If that doesn’t work, encourage them to make a card. After all, what seven-year-old doesn’t like those colored, decorated pieces of paper? 🙂