Category: gifts

Last minute Valentines Day gift for your Teen

Last minute Valentines Day gift for your Teen

Valentine’s Day is two days away and I have nothing at all planned for the children. It shouldn’t matter, except that they really look forward to something special. That’s of course my fault entirely for having spoilt them so. However, I do believe we should celebrate every occasion we can, as long as it doesn’t become a compulsion or a pressure. This year with exams coming on early and the pressure of tests and projects, we’re in dire need of cheering up but I’ve hardly had time to think of anything.

That is why I was looking for something quick and easy (and also free) that they would love. I’m taking a cue from something H did once. There’s a little bit of a story here, hear me out and then I’ll share my idea. So the thing is while H is the huggiest child when it comes to immediate family, he’s extremely shy when it comes to friends and extended family. It’s a joke of sorts, with everyone trying to hug him while he runs around trying to avoid them. Once when he was clueless about ideas for his aunt’s birthday, he made ‘Huggie Coupons’ for her which she could ‘encash’ at will in exchange for a hug from him. They were essentially bits of paper with ‘One hug’ written on them since H isn’t the crafty kind but his aunt loved the intent.

Privilege Coupons

That’s what I’ll be doing this year for the children. I’m making coupons which they can encash for special privileges. I like that it gives them a sense of choice, which is something teens are always fighting for. That said, I really thought through my ‘offers’. The option of not being able to fulfil any of them doesn’t exist. Both H and N are absolute Shylocks when it comes to extracting their pound of flesh and I shall forever be labeled ‘unfair’ and a ‘promise breaker’ if I dishonour a coupon.

Here’s my list of offers:

1. Weekend Movie Night Pick

2. Chore Free Day

3. Order Out Day
Cannot be used the same week as Pizza Night

4. A meal of your choice
24-hour notice required

5. Pizza Night
Cannot be used the same week as Order Out Day

6. Mama Hour
An hour of Mama’s undivided attention for an activity of your choice
We could read along, craft together, watch videos, your pick. It has to be on a weekend.

7. Weekend Coffee Date

8. Weekend Breakfast in Bed

9. Get Your Room Cleaned

10. Weekend trip to the mall
I included this one only because we have a small, very functional kind of mall right next to our apartment complex and I know the children love going to the mall but aren’t big on shopping.

I made my coupons on Canva. Click here if you want to try making your own. This is what they look like. I shall staple them together into a booklet, from which they can be torn out and given.

That’s the cover of the Coupon Booklet

This is a sample of the coupon

There are also loads of love-coupons-for-kids printables on the Net. You could try those. Or you could  design your own or, if you want to keep it really simple, cut out squares from fancy paper, write down your ‘offers’ and staple them together into a booklet. Easy Peasy.

A few pointers:

  1. Think in terms of activities (not things).
  2. Give them options you can see through.
  3. Add condition wherever you need to.

And you’re done.

Let me know if you try it.

Note: The coupons work for any age-group of kids and even for adults.

Birthdays gifts and badly kept secrets

Birthdays gifts and badly kept secrets

With Christmas around the corner I was going through my wish list checking to see what gifts I’d saved away, and I came upon this – a bunch of wallets, flashy ones – one with a peacock feather motif, another one all gold and shimmery and a third bright pink one. 

I stared at them. And I wondered. Not for the life of me could I fathom in what fit of bling I had ‘wish-listed’ these. My memory is not quite what it used to be, but I was certain I wouldn’t do this. It just wasn’t me. 

Before I go on, you need to know that my birthday is round the corner. And nobody  is ever as excited about it as H and N — not my friends, not my parents, definitely not the Husband (who once made the cardinal error of forgetting it, and is not likely to forget it in a hurry ever again) and most definitely not I. I mean of course I like it when someone remembers it but that’s where it should end. The hoo-haa is kind of embarrassing but then when have the kids ever worried about what embarrasses me? They start planning months in advance and they make up for everyone else … they create enough of a hoo-haa to satisfy the most hoo-haa craving person.
Every year they scrimp and scrounge to get me a small gift. This year they decided to enlist the help of Mr Moneybags – the Husband. I’ve overheard secret phone calls which they think I have no clue about and eavesdropped on whispered arguments which they think I cannot hear. 
They first convinced him to order a book from Amazon. The rather proactive Husband, did so right away and I received my birthday gift in November – more than a month in advance. 
I was suitably surprised at how apt their choice was and very thrilled too … but the children decided it came too early and so didn’t really qualify as a birthday gift. Now, they have taken things in their own more capable hands, or so they think, and they’ve been furiously surfing Amazon. Only – they have no clue that the things they ‘secretly’ save in a wishlist is my wishlist. That’s how those clutches/wallets came from – all N’s choice!

Since I made the discovery I’ve been logging in everyday to see a new set of gifts. They seem to change their mind everyday. The latest is this – a personalised ‘I love you mama’ cushion and a World’s Best Mom trophy.

I’m waiting with baited breath to see which one makes it to the final day.

All things bright and beautiful

All things bright and beautiful

Bright colours and beautiful smiles…. that sums up Rakshabandhan for us this year.
It started off with N getting to make her very first rangoli. She’d been nursing this ambition for months now and, scared of the mess, I’d been holding her back. Finally, I showed her the ropes and she did fine.
Not perfect but good for a first one
When H saw N in the midst of all that colourful mess he quit the television and set up a howl of “I NEVER get to do anything”. I set him to segregate coloured pebbles and we came up with this flower arrangement. He spent hours measuring out the flower stems till they were all the same length. He was a bit upset since flowers didn’t come in his favourite colours, blue and green and had to be mollified with a ‘pebble’ rakhi.


H hard at work


This is what it looked like

Then we decided to dress up a thermacol plate as the puja thali.

N at work


H takes over


.. and it’s done

Then of course everyone had to dress up even though we’d decided to have the Rakshabandhan in the evening since The Husband and the sis-in-law had full working days ahead. Do check out N’s hair :-).

Managed to get them to pose sensibly. It’s quite a task, I tell you

We then went shopping for their gifts. H wanted a kitchen set – he’s still in the “I want to be a chef” phase. However he wanted a “boy kitchen set”. On being explained that kitchen sets, like real kitchens, were not male or female he asked why then were they all pink. To which all I could say is that colours too weren’t male or female only to be looked at incredulously and dismissed as someone unaware of life’s realities. Finally we settled for a kitchen set and a football with joint ownership. Didn’t I tell you gifting, in our home, is tricky business?

By evening the house looked nice, the kids were washed and changed and the food was done. I went in to change and came back to find the house …… all pink. Apparently Naisha decided she’d had enough of the rangolis which had, by then, been stepped into many times over and had lost their charm. She poured water on it and the neighbour’s three year-old decided to play a pink Holi and walk all over the house.

Yes I threw a fit. Yes I chased the entire bunch out and set out to mop yet again.

Just as I’d finished and made myself a cup of calming tea, entered The Husband, like the police in Hindi films, right after all the action was over and done with. Even as I was still fuming he handed me a gift.. a gift for me on Rakshbandhan.. and I’m not even his sister! Yay! There’s really no better way to stem the fumes of a fuming woman than to hand her a gift.

The festive spirit was restored. The banished kids were called back and the neighbour’s kids asked to stay for dinner. The sis-in-law came. Everyone tied rakhis to everyone and there was more mithai than all of us could handle.

It’s Chhota Bheem all the way

We stuck with our mutual resolution of token gifts for kids – as in nothing elaborate or expensive or exclusive. Yet, they were thrilled. A big Thank You to the SIL for understanding and agreeing. Oh yes she got me something too. That’s right, it’s okay to bring on the elaborate, the expensive and the exclusive for adults.. heh heh heh.

The delinquents at dinner

– A bunch of imperfect things can make up a perfect day.
– Over time, men can be trained to do most things.
– Leaving kids around colour/glitter is suicidal.
– The quickest way to clean dirty footmats is to turn them over.
– and for the nth time: Kids don’t need expensive stuff to make them happy.

On my other blog: Beat About The Book

The Girl Who Drank the Moon #BookReview

The Girl Who Drank the Moon #BookReview

Book: The Girl Who Drank the MoonAuthor: Kelly Barnhill This is the story of a town, a cursed town. On its outskirts lies a greater forest. In this forest lives a wicked old witch. The witch demands sacrifice and so each year an infant is taken away by the town elders and left in the […]