Every year we face an avalanche at the holidays. An avalanche of toys, books, and clothes, that is. Don’t get me wrong, the kids and I are very thankful for all the presents they receive, and they have fun playing with them, but I just can’t help but think that they really don’t need quite so many.
That’s why when friends and family ask me what they should get for the girls, I’ve begun suggesting that they consider adding a contribution to the girls’ RESP instead of picking up yet another toy. Some have been totally on board and happy to do so. I mean, that’s one less present to come up with, shop for, and wrap! But others have been unsure, feeling like it just isn’t Christmas without the kids getting to find presents under the tree.
To be clear, it’s highly unlikely there will ever be a Christmas where my girls won’t have any gifts to open. We always get them some books, and a few toys we know they’ve been wanting for a long time and will really appreciate.
It certainly doesn’t have to be all or nothing though. If you don’t want that special child on your list (or you!) to miss out on the glee that comes with ripping up wrapping paper and opening a gift, consider giving a small present along with your RESP contribution. Maybe a book or a dress-up prop related to that child’s career ambition?
- When I Grow Up by Weird Al Yankovic
- What Do People Do All Day? by Richard Scarry
- Look At Me… A Veterinarian I Want to Be by Karean Chapman
- Snowmen at Work by Caralyn Buehner
- I Want to be an Astronaut by Byron Barton
- I Want to Be a Teacher by Dan Liebman
- Chefs and What They Do by Liesbet Slegers
- Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
- When I Grow Up by Mercer Mayer
Or how about:
- an apron for the aspiring chef
- a stethescope for the little girl who dreams of becoming a doctor
- a firefighter’s helmet for the hero in the making
Did you know that you don’t need to be related to a child to open an RESP for him or her? All you need is their social insurance number. You can make contributions whenever you like, for birthdays or for Christmas, and your contributions may also be eligible for government grants like the Canada Education Savings Grant and the Canada Learning Bond. When that little one grows up, they’ll thank you for helping them bring their dreams to life!
After all, toys break, video games go obsolete, clothes are outgrown… but an education is a lifelong gift! Have you ever considered giving an RESP contribution as a present?
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