Same for birthdays. Monetary gifts of chai ($18), double or triple (according to your means) will save you the hassle of endless shopping and wondering whether your choice of gift was appropriate. Needless to say, playing favorites is not a good idea, especially where you’re concerned. Just be consistent and you’ll be surprised at how thrilled children are to have money of their own, which they can choose to spend or save up, sometimes toward a more costly item they’ve set their sights on.
Your inner longing to confer gifts upon the einiklach can be satisfied in subtle ways, without formality or gift-wrap. Stock up, for instance, on children’s books suited to different age groups. (Publishing outlets such as ArtScroll and Feldheim run sales events several times a year.) Then when the grandkids visit, they can enjoy the reading material on the spot, and when they leave they can take a book home with them — at bubby’s suggestion, of course.
This will surely not ruffle any feathers, and you will have the additional satisfaction of knowing you are contributing to your grandchildren’s library, education and reading skills.
Not pressuring your son to see it your way was a good move on your part. You swallowed your pride for the sake of peace and harmony in the family — always a good choice. Kol hakavod!