It's that time of year again. At least, it is for our family. The time to make a Christmas list.
Growing up it was generally accepted that we have a Christmas list prepared by September 20, my younger sister's birthday, to present to my grandparents. As a kid, I didn't have a problem making a list this early in the year. Even as a teenager it wasn't really difficult. As a young adult it became a bit of a chore because Nana is the type to have her Christmas shopping done by the time you actually get a list to her. Now as a married woman with kids it is one of those things I put off until the last minute when I am being nagged by my parents and my sister because, for some strange reason, my grandparents rarely communicate with me directly.
I try to make and keep a list all year round, but somehow that never really works out. I want to populate the list with things that my grandparents will actually think make good gifts and that I will enjoy, but I also want the items to be practical and things I will actually use. I am running out of kitchen gadgets and camping gear, or rather, I am running out of idea for where to store them.
Making a list for my husband is even worse because even when I ask him directly, his list is about three items long, which doesn't leave anything for the kids or myself to get him for Christmas.
Then of course there is the list for the children. They are old enough that I could make them do it. The problem is that my daughter fixates on one item, generally the one that is a big ticket and therefore the "Santa Present" and can't get beyond it. My son changes his mind so often, that if he makes a list now, by the time Christmas gets here, his interests will have changed and he won't care anymore. Then of course, there is the fact that my grandparents are so far removed from what typical children these days are into. If I say "anything Frozen or My Little Pony" they will recognize that Frozen is Disney and get my daughter Tangled merchandise and they won't know what My Little Pony is, but they won't bother to ask either and so they will get my daughter a life size doll that creeps her out and goes immediately into the Goodwill box. If that's not bad enough, they don't have any idea what is age appropriate. I happen to know already which book my 8 year old will be getting for Christmas. Blueberries for Sal. Don't get me wrong, it's a good book and one I won't mind having in the house, but he is in third grade. When I was 5 I was getting A Little Princess and The Secret Garden. Why can't they get him a chapter book. I don't even care if it's not a classic, but I think he's old enough and smart enough for something like Treasure Island or Kidnapped.
So, as my kids begin school on Tuesday, I will spend the hour or so between kindergarten drop off and the arrival of my bff for virgin mimosas (aka orange juice and sprite) and a BBC (read Sherlock and Doctor Who) binge, scouring Amazon for gift ideas my grandparents will hopefully find affordable, intriguing and perfect, but that my kids will also be excited about come Christmas morning.
P.S. This year is complicated by the face that Evelyn's due date is the day after Christmas, so I too will be trying to get all the shopping done early. If I don't, Murphy says I will spend Christmas Eve and/or morning in the hospital delivering my own special Christmas gift.