A Reverse Tech Christmas

This year, I’d like you to take part in spreading Christmas Cheer by tweaking your gift list. Can you play your own version of the White Elephant gift exchange to make sure that everyone gets the perfect gift? Let’s all make a commitment to our youth by giving them gifts that inspire. At the same time, we can pay tribute to the Baby Boomers by welcoming them into the tech sphere with spectacular gadgets. Imagine how much more delightful the internet would be with the watchful eyes and guidance of our Grandparents. Technology is becoming more accessible for this generation every day, and it is our responsibility to guide and welcome them into the community!

Hands down, the best part of blogging for me is sharing with my Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, and distant relatives. They motivate me to be a better parent while offering support and encouragement along the way. Having a wholesome, family-centric social media presence is a terrific legacy to leave for the next generation. I’m fortunate to have a wonderful family that inspires this, and I don’t take that for granted. Because I’ve had such a great experience with my Facebooking family, I am happy to pass along any of my social media know-how to those that are interested. Will you do the same this season?

The important thing to consider is that I’m not suggesting that we give the Baby Boomers extravagant gifts like iPads or smartphones. Have you heard about their purchasing power? They can afford these! What I want you to do, is install the Facebook app on their new phone, send them a link to your favorite blog, or set up Skype for a chat with your kids. However, if you would like to give your folks the iPad that was intended for your child, I will not stop you! The best toys for children are the ones that don’t “do” anything. When we let our kids explore on their own, they have the freedom to become inventors.

My favorite inspirational toy shop is Mama May I. Not only do the toys easily capture Hannah’s attention, but the descriptions explain how we can play. By demonstrating the uses and then offering my focused attention for just a few minutes, Hannah quickly picks up the process and delights in repeating it on her own. To learn more about this style of learning, research Waldorf or Montessori and be prepared to be enlightened at the amazing capabilities of children. Screen time is screen time, whether it is delivered via a phone, computer, or television and the AAP warns against any screen time for children under 2.

Consider this toy suggestion from Green Child Magazine instead:

This year, we can truly contribute to making the Holidays a time for togetherness by connecting with our elders and sharing more quality moments with our children.

A comment on the Musing’s of a Housewife Grandparent Gift Guide inspired this post and served as a gentle reminder that my techy family rocks.

Disclosure: The laptop image is an affiliate link.

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23 comments on “A Reverse Tech Christmas

  1. What a great idea! I hadn’t really thought about my grandparents needing help with some of this technology and like you said, it may be just the apps that are needed. We aren’t doing anything techy for anyone really this year, going back to the basics!

  2. Love that idea! Maybe our parents and grandparents won’t feel so lost on the whole tech thing, and our kids would have a chance to expand their imaginations! 🙂

  3. Jeannette, the Baby Boom encompasses people born from 1946-1964, which of course includes your folks, and of course me (1961…which puts me at what a birthday card once called the “younger, cuter end of the Baby Boom.”) And as much as it’s lovely of you to think of us, we’re pretty good at tech, really. I mean, really, we’re the leading edge. Although, to put even that in perspective, it was a fellow Alzheimer spouse in a support forum who explained to me why the format of one of my songs wasn’t accessible to everyone’s PC…(something about how he had to convert the mpeg2/4 into an MP3 to make his version of Quicktime play it) And that guy is 91, so I’m just saying we don’t all need hand-holding and virtual zimmer frames to access technology. Nevertheless, I entirely applaud your spirit of willingness to extend a helping hand to the tech-impaired.

    • ecoincognito says:

      That’s a really good point. Certainly there are people in every generation who do and don’t have a knack for tech. What do we call the generation before the Boomers? Maybe I need to reference them instead.

  4. CelloMom says:

    My brother and I use logmein.com for remote access to our dad’s PC. Dad (86 this year) needs a bit of help now and then and it’s so easy to get him unstuck if you can see his screen – “See that thing that looks like a trash can, dad? that’s what you want”. The non-professional version is free and has good encryption for a secure connection; it sure beats flying over!

  5. jaimeweis says:

    That’s kind of a neat idea!

  6. I wish more people would do this! It was sad seeing my kids’ xmas class write their wishlists & first graders have nothing other that requests for ipads, iphones, computer systems, etc.

  7. I am not familiar with Mama May I. Off to check them out. Great idea!

    • ecoincognito says:

      I’ll be reviewing a few of their toys for the younger set in a post next week, but there are many options for youths as well. I hope you like the toys over there. So much inspiration for open ended play!

  8. Beth says:

    My grandmother is way beyond ever getting techy so I usually fill her freezer at gift giving time with homemade meals (not that I’m a gourmet cook but it beats TV dinners!).

  9. Cathy Bezinque says:

    I have to say do not ever text me if you are in jail and need Bail money. I do not text!

  10. Cathy Bezinque says:

    I really hope the girls will like our Christmas gift. It should fit righ tin with

    the reservse Christmas gifts! Mark cannot wait to play with the girls and their present.

  11. I am still trying to get my Dad to videochat. Someday. 🙂 Meanwhile, I am probably one of the few parents not getting their 3 yrs olds a LeapPad or other tech gadget this year. They have plenty of time to catch up with their tech savvy peers.

  12. Ellen says:

    I agree with Emily, and am ever mindful that the generation before mine unlocked the secrets of nuclear power, then stepped back in dismay, viewing the devastation their gift of technology had unlocked. My generation took computer technology from punch card to microchip, and is beginning to look at the resulting tech revolution with similar misgivings. I see students who cannot read material presented in a format too long for a tweet, and I can’t help but think, that like the nuclear generation, the box we’ve unlocked is Pandora’s. (No, this is not an allusion to the radio app, kids).

  13. My kids are getting NO techie gifts for Christmas. They are getting dress up costumes, houses and action figures, play food and good old fashioned board games!!!!!

  14. thebusybaby says:

    This is a great idea. My grandma loves to keep in touch through e-mail but is always looking for assistance. She is the most creative person I know. She raised my mom that way, my mom raised me that way, and now I’m hoping to be the same type of mom!

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