Christina M. Currie: The List
December 12, 2008
Holidays are just generally overwhelming. For every business transaction that pushed off until after the holidays, you add two celebratory functions and one more shopping trip.
My children, 7- and 8-year-old girls, aren’t making it any easier. Shopping, something I used to really enjoy, is becoming something I dread.
I also dread looking at my checkbook.
Ouch – Christmas is expensive and I’m learning that the older your children are, the more expensive it gets.
We’re not quite to the era of PlayStations and high-end electronics; well, my kids aren’t, but there are several adults on my list who are.
Still, what to buy and how much to spend are questions that plague the month of December.
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To make it easier, I handed the girls a marker and a toy magazine and told them to circle the things they wanted.
Eight-year-old Katie selected very few things and had a hard time doing it.
Seven-year-old Nikki nearly ran out of ink.
Such different little people.
As I was going through the magazine, trying to get a handle on my list, I noticed something odd. Nikki circled the Nintendo DS Tinkerbell game and the Nintendo DS accessory kit, but she did not circle a Nintendo DS.
It occurred to me (because there are rare occasions where I do understand my children) that Nikki circled everything in the magazine that had Tinkerbell on it or that was purple.
She also circled every Matchbox race track in the magazine, including the (yuck) Skull Fortress.
I knew my youngest daughter wants to be a tomboy, but I didn’t know the extent.
In an effort to slim down the list, I made her write out everything that she “really” wanted. She’s young enough that writing is an effort, and I figured that she might prioritize her list a bit.
Now, I have to figure out how to bolster Katie’s list a bit. She’s stuck on three things, two of which she’s getting and the other will likely break her neck, so it’s not being seriously considered. It’s like A Christmas Story – I’m pretty sure she’ll do the equivalent of shooting her eye out.
I’m struggling to balance shopping for the girl who wants everything and the girl who’s stuck on one thing.
I still ask them constantly what they “really” want, because if they really have their heart set on something, I want to see their face light up because they got it. I’m also testing Nikki’s memory, which is a little too good sometimes.
When she points to the diamond necklace that she really wants to have (my daughter is what you get when you cross a tomboy and a tenderhearted princess, and I’m not sure what you’d call that), I tell her “baby, that’s pretty expensive.”
“That’s OK, it’s from Santa,” she tells me. “He can just make one.”
Sometimes, we adults undermine our own efforts.
Santa knows when you are sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good.
So he should know how to make a beautiful diamond necklace appear under the Christmas tree..
And you know what, I do, too.
It’s called zirconia.