Did you ever see the program Windfall on television? In the ten minutes or so before NBC cancelled it, I mean? It’s the story of a loosely connected group of people who ended up sharing a winning lottery ticket, and unimaginable amounts of money…

It made me think of baby gifts.

That’s not really so crazy — let me explain.

I was helping my mother to clear out a lot of boxes of old papers, over the weekend, and we found a stack of old greeting cards that various people had sent to my parents, congratulating them on my birth. Inside one of those cards was a five-dollar bill. At the time, it was a nice little amount to help a couple of struggling young parents pay for diapers.

Nowadays, of course, $5 won’t buy much.

That’s where “Windfall” comes in— one of the characters in the show is a “mail-order bride” who urges her young husband to put all his lottery winnings into gold — she tells him about what happened in her own country, after Communism came in and the economy failed, when the paper money lost almost all value…

gold coinsAnd that made me think about the American Civil War, when the Confederacy issued its own currency: after the war, Confederate bills were nothing more than curiosities, with no actual monetary value to buy products in a store…

The same thing happens over and over again, wherever countries are in political turmoil, or national economies take a nose-dive. (That’s why the hard-core survivalists and fleeing dictators go for a stash of precious metals.)

All of which leads me back to new babies, and gifts for new babies, and that five-dollar bill tucked inside an old greeting card in my mother’s boxroom. Seven of our friends and neighbours are expecting babies this summer — echo of the baby boom, maybe? — and I’ll be giving each a gold coin.

Why? Mostly for the investment value, knowing that gold will still be gold when the baby is grown — why else did pirates hoard gold in their treasure chests? But also because there’s a certain Romance in a precious metal.

It’s nice to think that, some time in the future, that child will hold that gold coin in her hand, and hear her mother’s stories, and share in something of the excitement and celebration of the summer of her birth.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. domestika

    Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, christy and dawn. Yes, looking through the old cards was amazing! Touching to think of those years ago, the poor country people who put the money in that card, scraping up something for “teacher’s baby”… I just thought that gold would be a special momento for an amazing thing like the birth of a new baby. And when Baby Girl grows up, she can either sell it or maybe have it made into a necklace!

  2. ~Dawn

    I am thinking that savings bonds are a good idea as well. I don’t have to pay more than 25.00 for one. Obviously a $5 gold coin is a wonderful idea for those that can’t shell out a lot.

  3. Christy

    Gold coins sound like a great gift idea!! I’ll have to keep that in mine when my friends have babies (Only know of 2 on their way right now).
    I’ll bet looking through the cards though was pretty neat. I’m sure you don’t know some of the people, but old cards are nice to save. I have all mine still too!

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