Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lists and Christmas

Between the radio already playing Christmas music and the ads on TV, it appears that Thanksgiving gets more and more marginalized with each passing year. And while I try to avoid joining in the fray, sometimes it can’t be helped. With everything going on and coming up, Wife and I already know that Christmas shopping time will be limited this year. So, while we really didn’t want to, Wife and I went Christmas shopping last weekend while the Grandparents watched the kids.

Basically, we went to Toys’r’us on a Saturday afternoon to avoid all the crazies that will be there after Thanksgiving. Luckily, Wife jump started the whole process by helping the kids develop their Santa wish lists. I hadn’t seen the lists yet, so I was amazed at the difference between them.

Girl completely gets the materialistic side of Christmas. Her latest copy of the American Girl catalog is so dog eared and worn that it looks like a Golden Age Comic book. And, not one of the nice ones. She also started watching the mail for catalogs. She now ‘owns’ a Toys’r’us, Target, Walmart, and several mail order only toy catalogs. It’s amazing. Apparently, when wife asked what she wanted, I wasn’t sure the list of wants would ever stop.

Tiny to a lesser extent gets the idea of the Christmas list. But the problem is that Tiny worships Girl. So whatever Girl wants, Tiny wants, even if Tiny doesn’t really like it. With Tiny, it’s more a matter of filtering through her list to see if she really wants it. At the same time, trying to figure out if there is anything she would like. As parents, we would like Tiny to have something that is uniquely hers, even if she doesn’t know she wants it yet.

Boy on the other hand is a Christmas list disaster. He looked at each catalog once, decided what he wanted and was done. Girl has spent hours, if not days, carefully analyzing every toy and every option and then asking for them all. Boy asked for a Nerf machine gun. That was it.

So, back at Toys’r’us, wife decided to look at the toys the girls were asking for while I got sent off to find something for Boy. It went something like this “You’re a boy. Go figure out what he wants.” Great. Thanks for the guidance honey!

Luckily, I remember that I never had a list as a child either. I remember things showing up at Christmas. Now being older wiser, I realize that Santa brought me things when it was time for me to have them. Or when he thought that I should get them. So, this really became a chance to see what toys I wanted but he could play with until I get them back in a couple of years.

Since he asked, the first thing I went to see was the nerf gun. It was immense. Don’t get me wrong it was super cool and I wish that I could have gotten one as a kid. But it was huge. Seriously, I don’t think he could lift the thing. And, because it’s a nerf gun I know that I won’t get it in a couple of years, so I made a mental note about some smaller ones and continued on my way. Then I went to remote controlled gizzy’s. They have new, non harmful, indoor remote controlled helicopters. I’m sure he’ll love it! I know I will once he goes to bed.

Finally, I ended up in the section that all the boys end up in… Action Figures. I casually looked around and took a couple off the shelf and returned to Wife.

Wife: What are those?
Lee: They're action figures for Boy. I think that he'll really like them.
Wife, incredulous: He will like these? Seriously?
Lee: YES, he will. He's had his eye on this Mr Miracle and Captain Cold for awhile now. I'm pretty sure he wants them. And, I brought this Wonder Woman over for girl. As a stocking stuffer you know. And even a Big Barda for Tiny. That way they can all play together.
Wife: Put them back. I'll shop for Boy later.
Lee: What????

It's almost like she didn't believe me! It's like she thought I would be waiting for the kids to stop playing with them so I could have them. Come to think of it, Boy does have a really cool Batman from last Christmas that he doesn't play with anymore.

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