Why can’t my little boy be like other little boys?
Actually, I love him just the way he is but I get the sense that other little boys might be a little easier to shop for than he is.
He has no Christmas list, per se. In fact, I don’t even know where we would start with one. It’s not like back in my day when we used to anxiously wait for the Sears Wish Book to come out. We pour over the pages and write down every single thing we wanted knowing we’d be lucky if we got just one of those things.
Here’s the problem with my 5 (almost 6) year old son. I’ll give him a toy catalog to look at when it comes in the mail. I’ll hand him a sharpie. I’ll ask him to circle the things he likes. He’ll circle every single thing in the catalog. He’ll circle toys that are too young for him. He’ll circle toys that are meant for girls. He’ll circle everything.
It appears he doesn’t have much of a concept of money. And he also asks for intangible things or highly unlikely things for Christmas. For example, he’s asked for a new cat. He’s asked for a jet pack and the ability to fly. He also wants Santa to bring back my stuffed ducky I had as a kid that eventually was chewed up by one of our many pets.
He thinks that Santa can do it all. I keep reminding him that God and Santa are two different people. At least I think they are.
So I’m doing my best to keep his Christmas list grounded in reality. Here’s how.
1. I remind him about the whole God/Santa thing. But he’s convinced anything can be done with Christmas magic. And then I remind him that Mommy has to also agree to it.
2. I create a list for him. After all, does a 5 year old really know he wants?
3. I create an online wishlist for him. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who knows my kid. I create the online list not necessarily so that family can buy exactly what I say (although some like that idea) but they can also get a sense of what he’s into this year. And also, the cost of said items.
4. I buy things that aren’t on his list or mine. I go shopping at discount stores and find toys that might be out of the norm for great prices.
5. I take him shopping with me.
Now, let me be clear. That last one is, of course, when I’m NOT shopping for him. I think he’s finally old enough to know if I’m trying to slip something in the shopping cart.
I take him shopping with me and we look at prices. When he’s buying for himself, I try to have him bring his own money. I make him take his purchase to the counter and explain the whole procedure so he’s comfortable with making purchases. And it’s kind of cute.
He’s also become quite familiar with the phrase “let me look it up online.” I’m not sure if he entirely understands that but he knows that I often turn to the internet for hard-to-find items or things that I just don’t want to pay a lot for.
So I’m trying to teach him my Jedi ways when it comes to online shopping.