Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Momisms: Christmas Shopping for Kids

Christmas Mantle

Now that it's after Thanksgiving, I feel like I can finally talk about Christmas without all the Scrooge's out there sighing and groaning 'SERIOUSLY? It's not even THANKSGIVING yet!' 
Screw those people. 
Christmas is amazing and should be talked about early and often.
One of the bestest parts of Christmas is obviously giving presents. Thinking long and hard about what would make the people in your life smile, what would make them happy, browsing store shelves, thinking solely about their joy and pleasure, and then giving them something awesome that really lets them know you know and understand them.

Unless of course you are giving gifts to kids.

Then the whole experience is more of a constant war between wanting to give your kids stuff, and being slightly embarrassed and a little offended by their unashamed asking, begging, pleading and sometimes downright demanding all this material shit that you know they really don't need.
And when they're that young, it doesn't mean that much to them. 
Kids are given gifts all the time. They almost come to expect it. Rarely does a child under the age of 14 {and that could be a stretch because I think really it's more like 21} given a gift that makes them say 'Wow, you really put a lot of thought and effort into this. You really know and understand the true Me. Thank you.'
More often than not they get gifts that you spent hours of time and energy picking out, looking for, and working to earn the money to buy, and all they say is 'Ooh, more shit! Thanks!'

Sadly with some kids you're lucky if you even get the 'thanks'
And you're left standing there thinking 'That's it?!'
Not that you gave them gifts for praise and recognition {not entirely anyway} but it always sucks when you work hard to make someone feel special and cared about, and they just see it as more attention being lavished upon them. Nothing special or different. They're kids. It's what everyone does for kids.
Suddenly you have flashbacks of that boy you were just SO in love with in middle school. The popular one who had hair like Jonathan Taylor Thomas and eyes like a mystical being of gorgeousness and popularity. The time you stayed up all night handcrafting a gorgeous and well made Valentine for him, along with a mixed tape of ALL his favorite songs, and a few he probably hasn't heard but you know he will like, and when you offer it all to him with sweaty hands and a nervous giggle, he smiles and says 'Thanks' and saunters away, leaving you feeling empty, unappreciated and in need of more deodorant.

Not cool.

So in order to avoid that, this year I am sticking to a new four gift rule for the kids.
Well, I revised it a bit so really it's a five gift rule, but still.
It goes like this:
1 thing they want
1 thing they need
1 thing they wear - this can be a whole outfit, or even more clothes as long as they're clothes your child actually needs.
1 thing they read
And my revision is 1 thing that they want more than anything else in the entire world.

I think it's brilliant. They get two things that they want that are just purely materalistic, and that's ok. But they also get something they need that they will also like, something to read because I think kids should be surrounded by books, flooded with music, and all that should be punctuated lightly with movies and TV. Mainly when Mommy needs a hangover nap and you don't want your four year old burning the house down.

Anyway, so far this rule has made Christmas shopping SO much easier, and I think it's something I'll be sticking to in the future. 

How do you shop for people?

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