When my nephew was born a little over two years ago I bought a $500 savings bond as his Christmas gift. He was about six months old at the time and I figured he wouldn’t be able to distinguish a gift from it’s package. So I made the conscious decision to spend my money on something that would aid him in the future. After all, at six months of age, he’d have outgrown a traditional present in an extremely short amount of time.
When I bought the bond that first year I thought it would be a one time occurrence. But when Christmas rolled around the next year I decided to buy him a bond again. Of course, a $500 bond only costs $250 to purchase, but that’s still a large amount of money to shell out every year. Especially considering that I expected my sister-in-law to pop out a new little one before long. So the second Christmas we purchased a $100 savings bond.
My husband and I talked it over and decided we would continue to buy savings bond until my nephew, (and now my new niece), are three or four years old. As they get older they’ll want gifts that they can play with. But at this point my niece and nephew receive so many gifts from other family and friends that we figure they won’t notice that we didn’t give them toys. We usually do buy them a $5 gift, usually a book, in addition to the bond just so they’ll have something to open. After all, half of the enjoyment of Christmas is watching little ones play with wrapping paper.
So while they are small we’ll put our money where it makes the most sense, in a place where it can grow to help them pay for a bigger goal in their future. I think my brother and his wife would probably be happy if more family members bought bonds in place of toys. At this age, they outgrow toys so quickly that it really doesn’t seem worth the money to buy so many.