Helping Family Choose the Right Gift for Your Twins

09 February 2012

I’ve seen more than a few members of my parenting forum grumble about gifts given to their kids that were inappropriate/unwanted/ not thoughtful or just plain wrong. And yes, I confess that for the longest time I was the adoring aunty who gifted “educational toys” and life-size kiddie shopping carts much to the chagrin of my sister who has vowed to re-gift the shopping cart to the twins.
But I digress…  It’s tough during birthdays and holidays to answer the question “What do you want?”. The average person that I know always says “Anything” and that’s exactly what you get. Sometimes you’re happy with "anything" and sometimes "anything" turns out to be a waste of floorspace.  For twin parents, it's even harder because when people buy gifts for your babies in twos, you double the chances of getting something that doesn't work for you. I have 2 tips for you that just could help
Amazon Wishlist:
Yes, I know what you’re thinking another blog post promoting Amazon… but they’re so AWESOME!! I created a “Twins Wishlist” a while back and it was set to public. I used it to curate the books and toys that I planned on buying in the future. Anyone who knew my email address could find my wishlist, order something off of it and it's automatically shipped to me. For security, the sender doesn't get to see my mailing address. One sweet aunty finds my profile on Amazon and we got two of the items on our wishlist in the mail last weekend. Sweet! (thanks B, muah!). It was the Brown Bear and Hungry Caterpillar books by the way.
I think every family member can have an Amazon Wishlist. It makes it so much easier for friends and family who are not close by and may not have everyday contact to still get just the right gift. Even if the gift is not purchased online, just knowing what's on the list serves as a good hint. 

One other feature of the Amazon wishlist which I haven’t used yet is that you can create a "Universal Wishlist" with items from any website, not just Amazon. So say for example, there’s an ostrich skin handbag that’s been calling your name, put it on your wishlist. Write a blog post about it and who knows, maybe some twin dad who lives at your address is reading your blog post, realizes that it’s less than a week from valentines day and you’re so awesome, you deserve an equally awesome gift. All twin dad needs to do is look for your wishlist, see the handbag and go "Eureka! I must immediately seek out and procure this epitome of awesomeness. My chick deserves a handbag made from the skin of a kingly bird!". Or some similar thought. Of course this scenario is all hypothetical *cough*


Gift card collection:
Got this idea from my best friend. She has the 8 year old who has everything and then some. What’s left to get for him? Now she requests that friends and family members just get him giftcard from a particular retailer. The idea is to collect all the gift cards and buy a major big ticket item when the time comes. To do this, you must be careful to get giftcards that don’t expire and chose a retailer that has a good array of choices for the kid.  This would work especially well for older kids who have some expensive items on their wishlist – a motorized scooter, a grand piano, some Apple i-doodah etc. Some people do find gift cards impersonal, but if you let the givers know exactly what the goal is, most will love the thought of knowing that they're contributing to a dream.
That's actually how I got my stroller - by combining giftcards from my friends. I was glad to get an item that would otherwise have been too expensive and my friends liked knowing that they got me the stroller of my dreams.

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