Sunday, July 21, 2013

How Do You Deal With Christmas Lists In July?

The kids came home from their mom's house tonight with their Christmas requests in mind. We were with them a total of 30 minutes and they spent the entire time talking to us about what they wanted for Christmas. One of the two asked for a Nook (she will remain nameless :-) ) and I told her that at my house, I don't think it's appropriate for an 8 year old who doesn't even like to read to have any piece of technology over $100 just given to them, especially when 8 years old can barely remember to take care of the stuff they have that costs a whole lot less.
We kind of got aggravated because that was all they talked about with us - I asked them if the second they saw us today, is all they saw dollar signs in our eyes?
I love Christmas. I do. I love buying gifts for the kids and I love watching them open gifts. But I HATE the inevitable requests and wants we hear for the 6 months prior. I hate hearing the same item mentioned, over and over, whether in a direct question, "Can I please have a Nook?" to the indirect casual conversation throw-in, "This book would be so easy to read on a Nook!" to the mentioning of places that have Nooks on sale, "Look, that Nook is only $50!" I mean, seriously, there is nothing I want to do LESS than buy a child anything they've asked me for 75 times. I can be a very generous person and I will more than likely surprise you with something I know you like or have asked me for once, especially if you are behaving and being pleasant to be around. But if you've asked me for something over and over and over, or if all you've done is ask me to spend money on you for days on end, or if you are acting awful, the last thing in the world I want to do is spend my hard-earned money on you for anything. Call me Scrooge, I don't care.
Christmas is a hard one. I think it's ridiculous to make a threat in July and say something like, "If you ask me for it one more time, you won't get it at all" especially if that something is an item you'd really like for them to have. So, I have kind of always been at a loss for how to handle it, but I think I've figured it out. I have a little box and I think I am calling it the "Christmas Wish List." When they would like to request something for Christmas, they can write it down and put it in the box, whenever they so choose. We then get to go through the list and decide what we would like to get them. It's not the request that bothers me. It's the constant asking. Do not get me wrong, here. I spent my fair share of hours gazing through the Christmas catalogs (yes, when I was a kid, it was catalogs, not internet!). I would daydream of all of the toys I wanted. I don't really remember if I asked for things a lot or not - not saying I did or didn't, just can't remember - but I am sure if I didn't, I spent a lot of time thinking about it. So I don't fault a kid for being excited about Christmas. But at some point, kids have to learn the valuable lesson of self-control and delayed gratification, especially at Christmas, right?
 Do any of you have this problem at your house? How do you handle Christmas wish lists?

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