Saturday, November 20, 2010

Out of control

A couple of weeks ago, we told the kids it was time to start thinking about what they might want to ask for this Christmas. They don't watch TV with commercials so when asked for what they might want, they can be kind of clueless. Which is both good and bad, believe it or not. We prodded them a little and then, after being met with nothing but blank stares, suggested that they might want to look through some fliers or the Wish Book for ideas. We even suggested that they get crafty with it, and cut out pictures of the things they like best.


I should probably state up front that Liam took on the challenge as he always does: studiously, cautiously, carefully, and with much thought. He has come up with maybe five things that he wants, which we have suggested that he whittle down to a Top 3. His paper, which nobody can find right now and I am really hoping that it's not AWOL because it's so cute, has a picture of the Lego City fire station, fire boat and fire helicopter, and he is struggling mightily with ranking these in order of preference. ("The fire station has two fire trucks, and I already have a fire truck, and I don't need a new fire truck but I do want a fire station. I already have a fire helicopter so I don't need this one but it has a fire jeep and I like the fire jeep...") I think there is also a picture of some sort of Transformer thing, and then the game Creationary and a small tabletop air hockey game.

Liam will be no problem to please.

The photo at the top of this post is of Mallory's Christmas wish list as of two days ago. There are a few items to note. Number one: she filled a full page and is onto her second. And truth be told, she filled up page two before bed tonight, and is raring to go on page number three. Number two: she has no idea what most of the things on her pages are. She just locates them in the 'girl' section of the catalogue/flier and assumes it's something she SHOULD want. Number three: she has no clue how to whittle it all down to her Top 3, partly because there is so much of it and partly because she doesn't know what it is.

When I tell her that she is free to cut out and paste as much stuff as she wants to, but that she cannot have it all this year, she is all matter-of-fact and "I know that, mom" about it. Get into it with her a little deeper, she'll tell you that she is going to save some of it for next year. But - here comes the kicker - she expects that Santa will bring it all for her this year, and she will just keep it in her closet until next Christmas, when it's time to use it.

I'm not so sure that I'm buying that.

I think I do know a few things that will make her very happy to get, and there are a few things that I also want to get for her, and know that she will enjoy them once she has them. But part of me is worried that she is going to open everything on Christmas morning and then burst into tears when she realizes that the fancy potato sack race bags were not under the tree. Even though she has no earthly idea what a potato sack race even is.

I am trying to wrap up all of this wish list stuff in the next little while, because I hate shopping in the month of December. I want them to decide what they want, stick to it, and let me finish all my errands before the crowds get really nuts. Chad and I had some free, kid-free hours this afternoon and we made the most of it by running out to several stores. The parking lots were all crazy, the lines at the registers long, and the stock looks like it's starting to get picked over. I want to finish my shopping NOW and be done with all the hassle. But I also want to make some Christmas wishes come true. Too bad it seems like these are mutually exclusive goals.