I used to think my husband was the most impossible person in the world to buy for. But no, it’s my eleven-year-old son.
Because it’s one thing when you don’t really give a toss whether you have stuff to open on Christmas morning or not. But my middle child cares. He cares deeply. He is a pile-measurer of the highest order. He just can’t be bothered to come up with anything he wants.
When you’re young and carefree and sure that Santa knows your innermost thoughts, this might be a more reasonable stance to take. But when you’re old enough to know better, just tell your mother what you want already. I’ve been harping on this for a few years, with increasingly diminishing returns. But after repeated haranguing, my son did take about fifteen seconds to create this list:
Note the “any” postscript after “Xbox games” and “LEGO set,” prompted by his mother’s saying, “Which Xbox games? What LEGO set?” I then pointed out that “any” might lead to Santa bringing something he 1) doesn’t want or 2) has already. Result: shrug.
That evening, I spent ten minutes in a fruitless internet search for a comic book hero named Flush, without success. I finally reached out to a Comic Con-attending Facebook friend. “Where can I find comics featuring The Flush?” I asked. He pinged me back: “Uh… do you mean The FLASH?”
D’oh. That’s what happens when your child is so half-assed with your list he doesn’t even print neatly.
My second-grader, on the other hand, has her act together, and required zero prompting to present me this masterpiece to mail to the North Pole:
Plenty of options, thoughtfully categorized for ease of shopping. When I suggested that some prioritization might be in order, friendly smiley faces were added next to the most-desired items. Then she decorated the whole thing and drew a Christmas wreath on the bottom, because she cares enough to send the very best. Now THAT’S a Christmas list! It required, on her part, more than one percent of the time that Santa will spend shopping shipping and wrapping. Santa’s good to those who decorate.
Do you have to wheedle your children into providing lists? Do you just give them coal?