Everyone hates the problem of having the postage of a parcel cost as much as the contents in the box and it’s a constant problem of having family living half way around the world.
For my Father, living in New Zealand, it is a very big bugbear that went as deep as his Dutch roots and to be honest I really didn’t blame him.
As a consequence he didn’t do birthdays or Christmas gifts when they were younger and then in recent years progressed to sending cash in a card in the post.
That too is risky and Himself and I slowly ended up with a small bundle of New Zealand Dollar notes because he would send those instead of Euros.
We did of course exchange those with them for Euros and will use the Dollars on our next trip home but I know that giving cash was always the gift option that he liked the least because it seemed to be so impersonal.
This year he decided to do something different and announced that because some of his investments had gone well, that he really wanted to fix what he saw as a large gap in his Grandchildren’s childhood, i.e. his lack of gifts over most of their childhood. This is how each of our children came to be gifted with a large sum of money, with the stipulation that it be earmarked for past gifts and also their future education. Naturally my Father has been subjected to excited phone calls and squeals of excitement as they realized what this gift could mean.
Since Kiwi Daughter had travel plans this year, Himself and I agreed that each child would get a lump sum from this gift for all the missed Christmases’ and Birthdays of Euro 1.000,– each.
Her money went directly onto airfares and travels pocket money, and Little Mr had many ideas for his money, most of which entailed vast amounts of Lego. (vetoed by parents)
Wanting him to have something that he could both enjoy now and also keep as a legacy or investment, I started to encourage his growing interest in photography and stop-motion films.
The stop-motion subjects were of course Lego figures, scenes and dramas and we started to look at things like studio-style lights, coloured background rolls, tripods and of course a camera.
A DSLR was a better option than a pocket point-and-shoot but something like my Canon Rebel would be far too big and heavy, so a smaller model, something in between these two sizes seemed liked the best option. A new camera was an option but this is an eleven year old boy and I had no idea how mobile he wanted to be with it, or how careful, so we decided that second hand would be best. Should his photography skills and enthusiasm take off, he would grow his collection in future years or decades.
Together we went on Marktplaats (A sort of Dutch version of E-bay, but which isn’t Ebay-nl) and started our search. A month or so later we found a lay wanting to sell a camera, lens, some filter and a bag for a very good price.He has money left over as well (with an eye on a Go-Pro to add to his collection) Himself took care of the correspondence between us and the seller and in due course a parcel arrived with the goodies enclosed.
The first order of the day was to provide the seller (an extremely nice elderly lady needing to downsize her house, I think after the passing of her husband) with a Thank You for the equipment and for the generous price she had offered it for. As a lady now alone she did not wish to give out her postal address, but we had her email address, so could send a Thank You as an attachment photograph. Little Mr. got to work… I have edited out identifying information, but here is his Thank You card… as pretty as a picture.