As the holidays come to a high pitch, where everyone is running out to the mall or going online to buy those last moment gifts,  I know about this process very well, because I ‘m guilty of doing the same.

However, in buying gifts, it’s a good idea to buy the right type of gift so that the receiving party enjoys the gift as that is the goal. Everyone loves to receive a gift during the holidays and that’s a fact.

I don’t know about you but the gifts that I have received are scarfs, socks, sweaters, and the list goes on and on. I don’t know where people get this notion that they know what type of gift is best for you, but they are often way off target.

However, after spending years of receiving gifts and buying them for others as well,  some gifts provide a short-term enjoyment while other gifts provide a long term benefit.

In other words, we may be guilty of buying the wrong type of gift ourselves depending upon the receiving party. When we were younger, toys and gadgets are the things to buy. As we age the gifts become more expensive because people’s taste change and they want the elaborate gifts.

Also, in buying gifts, this is a very enjoyable process to some folks as they love doing so. However, there are others would prefer to give out gift cards and call it a day. Trying to decide what gift to buy is difficult and they don’t want the drama that is associated with picking out a gift. However, when you decide to buy a long term gift you don’t have to worry about those types of problems. Whatever your preference is, we know that last-minute gift buying it is an arduous task because it has to get completed before Christmas.

If this activity occurs in your home, you know very well what I’m talking about, as this happens in almost every household.  We perform this ritual annually because it is our tradition that we hold dear to our heart.  If you don’t do so you are not considered to be a responsible parent to our children.

Now let me get to my point outlined in the title of this article. What if we chose to be smart in this process and separate our gift buying into two parts a short-term and a long-term gift. If we did so this would allow everyone to become a winner and that would be fantastic.

For example,  when our children are young we should give them a short-term gift that they can open up on Christmas.  We should also buy them a long-term gift like a stock certificate or invest the funds into a mutual fund for the benefit of the child.  If we as parents would choose to buy this type of gift where it can make a big difference in their lives when they get older, that would be a great gift.

I got this idea when I worked on Wall Street, where every Christmas I would see that there were certain clients that would always buy their children and grandchildren a blue chip stock for Christmas. The stocks would be Merck, IBM, Con Edison, AT& T, Prudential Insurance and a few others. Each of these stocks pays dividends so the child’s portfolio would grow as the child ages. The parents that made these purchases were smart to do so. In doing so, when their children become an adult, their financial security will already be set in motion.   These are the type of gifts that will have a long-term benefit and have a more lasting effect in their lives.

In my younger days, I thought this was a plan only for the wealthy folks to do. I thought this way because these stocks were very expensive. However, in talking to some of these clients, ( the grandparents ) they explained that if I couldn’t afford to buy 50 shares of blue chip stocks, I should start first by buying what I could afford.  They started off buying 2 and 3 shares each year and when their finances improved they bought more.  After a few years, these stocks will be worth much more and at that point, your gift would have greater value to the child at that point.

In the minds of these progressive thinking parents, we put too much emphasis on making the child feel happy by buying these short-term gifts. The children play with these gifts for a few days and discard them shortly afterward. Many of the gifts that we spend on long lines to buy for them, they forget about them within a few days. I know that this occurs, as my children did the same to me. It would be great if my parents would have thought about buying only a few short-term gifts and a couple of long-term gifts.

Hence, I trying to alert you that time is still on your side. You still have the opportunity to correct this tendency that so many are guilty of doing without thinking.  Plus, it’s imperative that we make these wise decisions while our children are still small. I’m not saying not to buy them a gift for Christmas, as that would be cruel. However, we should limit these short-term gifts, and apply the other funds to purchasing a long-term gift like a blue chip stock as stated above.

In closing, gift giving is a wonderful thing to do no matter what others tell you.  And for our love ones, the Christmas holiday experience is priceless and it’s one that they will never forget.  In receiving gifts it brightens up the person receiving the gift and we should continue to do so whenever we can.  However, I’m sure that you would be pleasantly surprised if the thousands of dollars that would be in your account today, would be there if someone has chosen back then to give you a long-term gift over a short-term gift. I know very well that is how I would feel if I had those funds today.  Well, you still have sufficient time to do something to help jumpstart this process for your child. So when you go out to purchase your next gift for your children, grandchildren and etc. think about this message.

Happy Holidays everyone !!!