Gift Equalizing

By Doug Mayberry

December 16, 2019 4 min read

Q: This Christmas, I wanted to give my grandchildren some of our family heirlooms. I was planning to give jewelry to my three granddaughters and a watch to one of my two grandsons.

Unfortunately, I don't think my other grandson would appreciate that sort of present. From previous experience, I've learned that he wants cash, and I honestly believe that he might sell whatever I'd choose for him.

For me, the entire point of giving these items is that I want to share our family history and memories with the younger generation. But not all of my grandchildren have equal appreciation of those things.

I love all my grandchildren and don't want anyone to feel left out or snubbed.

How can I make my present choices fair for all of my grandchildren?

A: Wait to give these special presents on another occasion.

Gift giving isn't meant to engender family conflict or hurt feelings, but these outcomes can be hard to avoid. In this case, there's no way to ensure equal treatment.

Bequeathing your treasures at the same time makes comparison very likely. Instead, find another time. Graduation ceremonies, engagements, birthdays or other milestones are better.

Spacing these gifts out may yield other, unexpected benefits.

While many seniors' opinions tend to be set in stone over time, the younger generations are still growing and maturing.

Your grandchildren's growth over the years will surprise you — people end up developing in the most unpredictable ways! In the future, your grandson may develop an appreciation.

Giving presents allows us to show our appreciation of and affection for others. Whatever you end up gifting, give it with love, and keep the recipient's personality in mind. The best present is different for every person. — Emma, Doug's granddaughter


Q: I'm leaving soon to visit my family across the country for the holidays, and I couldn't be happier!

The only drawback is that flying wreaks havoc on my legs. I already don't have great circulation, and long flights make my legs swell for at least a day afterward. It's uncomfortable and even painful at times!

Someone mentioned compression socks as an option to me, and I'm not thrilled. The idea of taking my shoes off at security sounds very embarrassing.

Should I stop waffling and just commit myself to this kind of senior fashion?

A: Yes. You're far from the only person with this issue, and there are more options than you think.

Many young people are recognizing the usefulness of compression socks, and the market is responding with a much wider range of options than ever before.

Luckily, some newer companies are meeting the need for more stylish compression socks. Companies like Comrad offer normal-looking compression socks in a variety of patterns, solids and colors. Nobody is likely to have any idea that you're wearing anything other than normal socks.

Compression socks are believed (but not medically proven) to decrease your chances of deep vein thrombosis — a very rare condition. However, their main use is to reduce swelling and sensitivity in your lower legs.

Compression socks are tight at the ankle and get progressively looser as they go up your leg. They put pressure on the veins, arteries and muscles in your lower leg, preventing all that swelling.

Your health and comfort will allow you to enjoy your family time to the fullest. - Doug

Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California retirement community. Contact him at [email protected] Emma, Doug's granddaughter, helps write this column. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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