"What do the kids want for Christmas?" As the mother of three young children and the only one of my siblings to procreate, I get this question a lot. They have grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles and great aunts and uncles. All of whom love them and want to gift them with something they will cherish at this most magical time of year.
You know what I think is a magical gift? A college education. Here's the thing: I am going to be really honest with you and tell you that all my kids have too much stuff. They don't need any of it. If I never see an LOL doll again it will be too soon. What they will need is a calculus book in 10-15 years. You know what else they need? An appreciation for the fact that their education is a priority and that their family is chipping in and is insuring that higher education is a possibility for them.
So here is what we do: my kids make their Christmas wish lists like all children do. My husband and I decide which of those items they are actually able to have and work out who is going to purchase them when we are asked. And I ask everyone else to contribute whatever amount is in their generous hearts to the kids 529 accounts (they just send it to me and I add it to the accounts). I tell the kids who contributed, and they thank them just like they thank everyone else for their toys or colored pencils or kinetic sand or whatever else they got.
We do the same thing for birthdays. I know everyone may not be in this situation. We are unique in the fact that there are MANY adults and very few children in our family. But if there is ever a time you are thinking, "the kids just don't really need anything right now", savings into a 529 or even just a savings account is a great option. It allows you to start having some good conversations with your kids, keeps clutter out of the house and teaches them a new kind of gratitude.
I hope you all have a beautiful holiday filled with love and peace and joy.
All I Want for Christmas is College Tuition for My Kids
December 02, 2022