The Grandfather Gifts

From Dave's Bleeding Edge blog.

When there are children in your life who do not live with you, gift-giving at the holidays can be daunting.

I know, because I’m a grandfather. That means many things, especially during the holiday season, but mostly what it means is that I need to find gifts for grandchildren. And grand-nieces and nephews, as well as children of friends. And for many people, the challenge of buying for people outside of the direct family – especially when they are aged eight through fifteen – is precarious at best.

You can’t buy them clothes (too personal) or jewelry (the same). If you buy them a video game, you risk the ire of parents who don’t believe in video games. As for buying music…well, how much do you honestly know about what kids listen to today? And most of the things kids really want simply cost more than you want to invest in a child who is not yours and is only marginally in your life. So you are stuck trying to find a decent gift for under $20 that doesn’t leave the kids groaning at your geezer-ness.

Let Grandpa Dave help you. It’s something I stumbled on a few years ago that is cool, inexpensive, will not offend the parents of the little rascals, and may actually help them become better people.

For a mere $10 or less on Amazon.Com is the most amazing book ever written for boys from ages 8 to 80. The “Dangerous Book For Boys.” How good is this book? Some of the stuff is pretty standard, like the list of essential gear (swiss army knife, compass, magnifying glass, band-aids, etc.). But there is also a section on the rules of soccer, great battles in history, five knots every boy should know, first aid, the history of piracy, and how to skip stones.

There is even a pretty well written section on what really interests the majority of boys after age eleven…girls.

I’ve given out dozens of these books as gifts. When faced with two boys in the same family, give one the “Dangerous Book for Boys,” and the other “The Boys Book of Survival.” Or one of the other books in the same genre. I like the “Survival” book because it contains sections on such fascinating and essential topics as “How to Survive a Huge Pimple” and “How to Survive A School Dance.” May not mean much to you, but if you are facing that first school dance in the sixth grade…well, it’s important.

What about the girls? Their books cost a bit more (about $18 on Amazon.Com) for The Daring Book for Girls, but since when didn’t girls cost more? If you don’t know that by now, you’ve never bought a prom dress.

Anyway, this one likewise contains critical information that ranges from a girl’s toolkit to managing a slumber party, from friendship rings to Japanese T-shirt folding. You know. Girl stuff. There are other books for when you have multiple girls in the same family, including the “Double-Daring Book For Girls.” Nor do you need to buy any of these online – you may just as easily order them through your friendly neighborhood book store.

 

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