It’s that time of year. We braved the mall yesterday, and did quite a bit of Christmas shopping. The adults aren’t quite so difficult to shop for once you start tweaking onto them. It’s the kids.
You’d think that the kids would be easy to shop for…when I was their age, I wanted half the Sears catalogue…and that included stuff that *wasn’t* in the toy section. What you have to realize is that nowadays, you’re not just buying for the kids, you’re also buying around any kind of parental triggers.
I’m not picking on any one kid or any one set of parents. We have 3 biologically-related and 2 honourary kidlets to buy for. Some of those kids are young enough to fall in the “buy a plushie” category. Others are more challenging. You don’t know what they’re into, and what’s popular amongst their peer groups, and what their parents do and don’t want them to emulate. I’m finding out that Star Wars is OK, but the Pink Aisles at Toys R Us are a dangerous place to be caught.
What I’d like to suggest? When that Christmas list gets made, cc a copy of it to the Grandparents, Aunties and Uncles. Sure, it should get sent to Santa, but in the meantime, make sure the rest of us have a copy. Annotate, if you must. If something isn’t agreeable to you and your philosophy on child-rearing, please let us know. That way we’ll know that the soccer ball and pink princess Barbie aren’t cool, but Cabbage Patch Kids and croquet have made the short-list. That way, the rest of us (the Aunties and Uncles and Grandparents) can talk amongst ourselves as to who will get what for whom. Particularly since some of us get to see our littler family members maybe once or twice a year and don’t necessarily get to be privy to their likes, dislikes, and personality quirks.
Then there’s Robin. Who sees Nerf on sale at the local toy Mecca and picks it up for his own nefarious purposes…usually involving chasing the cat around the house. If one is unable to figure out what to get him for a Yule gift, Nerf, Lego, and such are great stocking stuffers (I’m the easy one to shop for. If it can be spun or knit, I’m usually happy).