Apart from gifts for birthdays and holidays, my kids don’t really get a lot of toys in between. They do earn and save a modest allowance, which allows them to buy toys outside of holidays should they choose, but this still is not a frequent occurrence.
Recently, however, my six-year-old remarked, “I wish there was such a thing as Brothers Day.” I responded, “Actually, there is a Siblings Day. What makes you wish for Brothers Day?” He explained how he would like to buy his older brother a little gift and that he likes shopping and giving presents. My husband and I smiled at the thought of this kind gesture, and after a sad weekend of rained-out baseball games and birthday parties, we made a plan. It was such a positive experience that our family decided to make it an annual thing. Here’s what we did.
Set a Budget
We gave both boys a budget of $10-15. That was an amount that worked for us, but it could certainly be adjusted. I like that price point because it gave the boys options and allowed them to get creative. They could select a single larger ticket item, or they could gather a few smaller items, add some favorite candy, etc.
We browsed the aisles of various Target sections: toys and games, books, art supplies, and of course, the bins of the dollar section. They perused the sections together, each one dropping hints about items they might enjoy.
My husband and I each took one kid and separated in the store. We communicated with each other to ensure the kids wouldn’t run into one another and potentially ruin the surprise. We made sure to check out separately and double bag the gifts to keep the mystery and anticipation alive.
Keep Up the Surprise
When we arrived home, our excited boys took it upon themselves to select wrapping paper and wrapped their gifts independently. Then, they reconvened in the living room, sat back to back, and opened their surprises. It was heartwarming to have witnessed this process from start to finish. I appreciated the differences in their styles. My oldest spent all his money on a board game for his little brother. My youngest spent his share on an art set he found on sale and added a bag of candy to it.
My favorite part was that they coincidentally both chose gifts they’d be able to use with one another. They were both proud of their selections and appreciative of the thought behind the presents they received. They spent the rest of the weekend playing the board game and working on arts and crafts. Both boys still talk about this experience and often ask, “When is Brothers Day?”