Holiday gift ideas that kids will truly appreciate | On Track with Zach

Reporter intern Zach Shucklin is a senior at International Community School. - Contributed
Reporter intern Zach Shucklin is a senior at International Community School.
— image credit: Contributed

The emphasis of this holiday season, like every year, is joyous celebration of religious holidays and goodwill towards all people.

It is a time for reflection and being thankful for the people around you as well as the materials things you have.

With the holidays comes the tradition of giving and receiving gifts, and nothing is as gratifying as giving someone a gift you know they will appreciate.

Still, it is the thought that counts – with a few exceptions. Parents, let the following anecdote serve as a reminder of the importance of giving your children gifts that will be appreciated.

If you are going to spend the money, you might as well get them something they want.

It was the second night of Chanukah, 2010, and after the first night’s present slump I was thinking to myself “how could tonight be any worse?”

My parents opened the kitchen drawer containing our candles and lighter and placed the two candles representing the second night in the holders on the menorah.

After reciting the prayer and sealing it with an Amen I now prepared myself for the important part of Chanukah: the presents.

Usually in Chanukahs past, I have been accustomed to selecting one of the excellently wrapped presents underneath our piano…this was not the case.

Instead, my mom handed me a plastic OfficeMax bag complete with what seemed to be a fresh receipt crawling out the opening.

“Their selection of wrapping was precarious,” I thought to myself, and timidly I reached my hand into the plastic bag. Feeling around for the contents within, my hand locked onto the items and pulled them out one by one.

First, a tape dispenser; not the orthodox choice for a gift, but it must be a prelude for something else.

Second, a desk calculator; I already have a Ti-84. As my hand enclosed around the last object, the cushioned and flimsy texture of it perplexed me, and I eagerly yanked out what could be my second night of Chanukah’s salvation.

Orange, black stripes and yellow eyes looking up at me, the tiger mouse-pad remained clenched in my hands as I shot my mother an inquisitive look of “why?”

“Zach, isn’t it great? I know you’ve always loved big cats,” she said.

Grimacing, I looked up and forced a smile of conformation, set the mouse-pad back in the bag, and then retreated to my room, reflecting on the fact that never had I ever made any statement about an existing adoration of big cats.

To help prevent a situation like mine, I conversed with countless kids in order to get a general consensus of good gift ideas.

According to my research, this holiday season, it’s all about the touch screens. iphones, ipads, ipod touches, and the new kindles, you name it, the majority of teens I talked to want one.

Unfortunately, these don’t come cheap, but think of how rewarding it would be to know that the only thing brighter than the touchscreen would be your kids face as they opened up what they truly wished for.

A good pair of headphones for electronic devices also seems to be a regular on the wish-list, so don’t torture your kid by making him listen to his mP3 with uncomfortable headphones form airlines.

In addition, it is important to know what to stray from, and the most common culprit is: gift-cards. When in doubt, ditch this gift “no no” for money.

Still, a material item will always trump the coin as high school senior Nicola Scutt explained, “there is no fun in money because you can’t open it.”

With that, I hope you enjoy the holidays and purchase wisely.


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