It is a very good thing that Rick and I never had kids, especially daughters. When we first married I bought as much as I could for my nieces and nephews, but we were just getting started in our careers, going to school, saving to build a house...not much extra cash to go around.
As some of the younger ones came along, money was a little more plentiful so we were able to do more with them. Now we have great and great-great nieces and nephews and our cash flow is not a river, but I do like to splurge for them on birthdays and Christmas.
Our great niece Joy celebrated her 5th birthday last week. We didn't make it to her party, we did drop by her dad's office today to leave her gift. Turns out Joy and her mom and siblings were there.
I had bought her this really cute little top and leggings and when she took them out of the package, she ran into the other room and immediately changed clothes. I wished we had taken her picture, her little face was precious as she paraded around her dad's office in her new clothes.
Her sister Daisy made the remark at her birthday this summer that she knew Aunt Jilda would always get her really nice clothes for birthdays and Christmas. I got very few new clothes when I was young and by the time I was in high school, most of my clothes were home made. But, my mom and dad always got me a new dress for Christmas and usually Easter. I still have my Christmas dress from my senior year in high school. I just can't let it go.
The power of possibilities comes with new clothes when you are a kid, or at least it did for me and it does for most of my nieces and nephews. I was not a very pretty child, but a new dress made me feel pretty. I try to share my hand me downs with Samantha or other nieces who wear my size. And it's fun to see her get excited about "new things to wear". Heck, one of my great nieces sent me a pair of cowboy boots that she didn't like and I was on cloud nine.
I know that inner beauty gives us a glow of joy, but clothes often give us a boost in our self-confidence. My mom loved pretty clothes and I think she passed that gene on to me and by some strange osmosis I have given it to my nieces.